Thread: Meth User Tips
08-28-2001, 11:01 AM #1kiser401Guest
Meth User Tips
Meth has finally made it to the rural areas of the East Coast. I have read some articles about it, and know to use EXTREME caution around a known/suspected meth lab, but do any of you guys/gals who have been dealing with meth a while have any tips for us "country cops."
Tia mentioned "COPS" (the TV show) on another post-I actually stopped watching it for several years since it WAS real-I would get pumped up sitting in my living room and then go nuts since I COULDN'T interact in the call! But recently, while living with my brother (who does watch it, religiously) while between homes, I started watching again, and I've learned alot on this subject from that (especially those clips from Pierce County Washington.)
Things I know:
1. Use extreme caution around known/suspected labs
2. Labs can be in vehicles, motel rooms, etc.
3. Someone caught working in the lab probably needs to be decontaminated
What I want to know are things like:
What are ways it is transported?
What are ways it is packaged, sold, etc?
Signs of use (smell, etc?)
I know I sound ignorant, but that is the purpose of these formums-to be better officers. I'm not ashamed to admit I just haven't had any experience with it, and am not too proud to ask.
Thanks in advance...
08-28-2001, 02:47 PM #2DARECOPGuest
Send me an email address and I'll give you some info. I'm from S.W. Mo, the meth capital of the U.S. We see it every day.
08-28-2001, 03:17 PM #3SparkyGuest
Looks like a tweeker. Acts like tweeker. Smells like a tweeker.
Must be a tweeker.
Whenever you notice the presence of these three things, there is a lab present:
1. battery powered "marital aid(s)"/pornography
2. unusual amount of aluminum foil
3. unusual amount of duct tape
This is what I refer to as the "Tweeker Tri-fecta" or "The Tweker Tri-lateral Equation".
In all seriousness....if you think there is a cook in there...you get the heck OUT! and call a DEA (or other) Clandestine Lab Team. There are some chemicals which will make you dead quickly or slowly...either way, it ain't good!
08-28-2001, 03:27 PM #4vbrennerGuest
Sparky - don't forget the disassembled VCR, the jars of rusty nuts and bolts in the kitchen, the filthy blanket serving as a bedroom door and the show-winning spotless Harley.
08-28-2001, 07:53 PM #5SpecOpsWarriorGuest
I recently attended a DEA class on identifying clan labs and learned alot of interesting things, a few I will share and alot I wont on a public forum.
First, the COPS episode from Pierce County Washington is an example of WHAT NOT TO DO! The poor officer opening up that sealed pitcher in front of John Walsh is very lucky that he did not get a good whiff of some very bad stuff. The officers gathered around that fools Bronce are very lucky men considering the fact that all those chemical were in one box that just got thrown around the back of a vehicle after a pretty good pursuit.
If you suspect that you have a functioning clan lab in your area do a garbage pull and see what you find, if you find 10000 torn match books and a ton of Sudafed boxes chances are high you just stumbled on a clan lab. This is just the tip of the iceburg but all these things can add up to some good PC.
Once you know you have a clan lab in your area back out and notify the DEA and just be happy sitting back and watching from a distance. I know that is not always the easiest thing in the world to do but they have the necesary equipment and training that most of us dont have.
08-28-2001, 08:59 PM #6LeeRoyGuest
I don't think this will give out any secrets that dopers don't already know. I thought CA was the meth capital for the country. I've been involved in a half dozen meth labs during the past few years of the ephedrine/hydriotic acid variety. During 9 years L.E. I've made over 200 arrests for possession an possession for sale.
We typically see meth packaged in small zip lock baggies. We used to see paper bindles made from porno mags but I haven't run across that form of packaging in a couple of years. What tweeker wants to waste their porn?
As far as users are concerned sparky sure called it. Where meth is you'll find porn. During warrants you'll always come across homemade videos (very rarely worth watching as the wife/girlfriend/pet is usally a user also). Chronic meth does something goofy to the sex drive and users will do goofier and goofier things to themselves and each other.
Chronic users are usually very skinny. So skinny that you'll see the outlines of their cheekbones. Chronic users are not satisfied with snorting or eating meth. They always progress to either smoking or shooting up. Meth users don't necessarily need to heat their dope up the way heroin addict does so look for spoons that have no burn marks. You'll see a white powder film on the spoon surface. The glass pipes, often fashioned from glass tubing will often have a white residue coating the inside of the pipe. The coating is mostly meth and users will scrape the pipe clean and resmoke the residue.
To mak meth you need ephedrine (hard to get now) or psuedoephedrine (sudafed, actifed etc) and hydriotic acid (hard to get). You make hydriotic acid with red phosphorous, iodide crystals, and water. Mix the two, apply heat, and you get a very acidic liquid that contains meth. Apply too much heat too long and you get phosphene (i think-maybe phosgene) gas which turns your lungs to liquid. Add a strong base to neutralize and then add hydrocholic acid to the mixture and you get get meth crystals. I've oversimplified the process but you can see how some tweeker with a simple recipe of mix two parts this, one part that, do this, do that can make meth very easily.
The biggest contributor to meth manufacturing in CA has been the availibility of red phosphorous and iodine crystals which are purchased through chemical supply wharehouses. If you have a chem wharehouse in your jurisdiction it is just a matter of time before you get manufacturing.
08-28-2001, 10:52 PM #7Jim BurnesGuestOriginally posted by LeeRoy:
I thought CA was the meth capital for the country.
It appears the northeastern portion of Oklahoma has that distinction now.
Almost appears to be in every neighborhood, in every county. This is a very serious problem.
08-29-2001, 05:14 AM #8DesertRatGuestOriginally posted by DARECOP:
I'm from S.W. Mo, the meth capital of the U.S.
08-29-2001, 07:55 AM #9KsfuzzGuest
I dunno guys...the way we have been busting labs here in SE Kansas we are definately in the top 5.
08-29-2001, 09:35 AM #10TheMdntRdrGuest
Last time I saw something about it, CA was numero uno by a long shot, then I think OK. The news here in Central Kali covers several lab busts a week, those are the ones worth talking about. I know a cop that's on a task force and they take down one or two every week, maybe more. Another sad part about this whole business, these a**holes don't care about the waste, it's always being found in the orchards, wiping some farmer's crops, or in the canals polluting the water. Shoot them all I say!!!!
08-29-2001, 12:52 PM #11PartTimerGuest
Besides Meth, what about ecstasy, terrible spelling. I would be vary interested in any info you guys have. I work in a resort town with a good nightclub/bar. I know it has to have made its way to my area, but we don't get any training on the stuff. Our chief was in Narc a long time ago, but I am sure things have changed.
08-29-2001, 06:40 PM #12720Guest
X is very easy, well most of the time to verify. Many "types" of extasy will have a not so professional logo or character embedded in the tablet... such as a Playboy Bunny and other logos of that type. The main crowd for this drug would be the high school and college age crowd, as it is more of a party drug. Basically it is simple, you stop some kids, they have a "prescription medicine" bottle and the pills have a wierd logo, X is what you have. Basicaaly, it is a pretty simple drug when compared to others when it comes down to identifying it.
08-29-2001, 11:50 PM #13MPD3P59GuestThis is what I refer to as the "Tweeker Tri-fecta" or "The Tweker Tri-lateral Equation".
08-30-2001, 12:45 AM #14LeeRoyGuest
For ecstasy intel check out www.dancesafe.org. They contract with a private drug lab to analyze ecstasy pills that are mailed into them. Photos of the pills along with results of the test are posted. Dancesafe's philosophy is not to judge drug use right or wrong but instead to educate users how the risks. I've found the majority of their information to be fairly accurate. I consider them to be a pro-drug group and its a good way of getting expertise outside of normal law enforcement training.
MDMA is a hallucinogen as well as a central nervous system stimulant. Users get dilated pupils, jacked up heartreat, and have lots of energy (the MA in MDMA stands for methamphetamine). The hallucinogenic effect causes users to get pleasure from flashing and moving lights and louds sounds. MDMA also causes clenching of the teeth so you will often see users with pacifiers, lollypops, or small glowsticks in their mouths.
As far as numbers of labs are concerned I believe CA is still heads and tails above everybody else. We have too many tweakers that know how to make it right now. I'll look for some stats and post them.
08-30-2001, 03:42 AM #15JensenfarmGuest
As a farm owner in central CA, I can attest to the fact that we are "numba 1 with a bullet" on the meth making charts!
BNE & local LE just busted a used cook site and 300+ mature pot plants a stone's throw from one of the ranches I manage, and I've found discarded trash/residue on adjacent property on more than one occasion (fortunately owned by one of the major rail conglomerates, as the price for EPA approved cleanup can run in the tens of thousands of $$$).
Look for the afrementioned cold medicine boxes, denatured alcohol canisters, anti-freeze jugs, 5 gallon plastic buckets, heating mantles, & large chemical flasks. Also sludge from the cook. Be aware of any odors resembling ether (starting fluid), as that's also one of the signs of a "cook".
FWIW, the Mexican drug cartels are assuming the lion's share of the meth making operations (using illegals to run the "cook"), thru intimidation, or connections in getting the raw ingredients.
Finally, STAY AWAY FROM THE DUMP! All the chemicals used can cause severe damage to one's health...best to let the pro's in the white suits & masks do the dirty work!
09-01-2001, 04:07 AM #16SycraftGuest
Sometimes you'll find meth labs on college campuses too Here at the University of Arizona a HUGE lab was busted awhile back. Seems a chem grad student was making quite a bit of money on the side of his legitamate research. Easy for him to do too since as a chem researcher you have access to almost any chemical you want in large quantities.
As for meth information, there's a deceant amount on the DEA's website, www.dea.gov. I'm betting if you e-mailed them in the capacity as a police officer they'd give you plenty of tips.
Also a note about X: Glow sitcks, pacafiers aren't a dead giveaway, ravers like these things anyhow. Don't ask me why but even the ravers I know that don't do drugs have silly things like this.
09-03-2001, 09:46 PM #17kiser401Guest
Thanks to all for your help!
I'm amassing a good supply of info to make officer knowlege and safety handouts from, and eventually make a lesson plan from (once I get more experience!)
BTW, LeeRoy, TheMdNtRdr, and Jensen Farm was correct-CA is NUMERO UNO on reported "superlabs." See
09-05-2001, 05:26 AM #18ZawGuest
Ever been to a Liqure store and see those Air Freshers that come in glass tubes? They don't even smell great or work but they sure get sold out quick. Area where all the tweekers are at local liqure store will stock a bundle of them.
Don't forget the little rose in glass tube for your hunny too.
09-05-2001, 06:23 AM #19FLLawdogGuest
Hey, Zaw...in all honesty do you know MOST cops to make that sweeping statement?