|Updated: 11/09/2012 10:40 pm
||Published: 11/09/2012 10:38 pm
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s office is fighting meth before the ingredients are ever mixed.
The deputies along with the Cherokee Nation Marshals, Tahlequah Police, District 27 and District 13 of the Oklahoma Drug Task Force performed a Smurf Sting Friday.
For the operation the law enforcers keep track of Sudafed purchases at pharmacies and monitor how many people try to buy the drug illegally.
They kept an eye on purchases in Wal-Mart and Walgreens. Deputies say the number of shake-and-bake meth labs is still on the rise despite efforts to control access to the cold medicine used to make the drug.
Deputies say John Gawf tried to purchase Sudafed but had already reached the limit of boxes he could buy.
Three women with him bought it instead. Authorities found the drugs in his car along with a syringe.
Authorities say a person can only buy 3.6 grams of the Sudafed in 24 hours, 7.2 grams in 30 days and 60 grams in a year. If a person is ever denied they would have to wait three days to purchase the cold medicine again.
Gawf was charged with violation of meth registry. The three women were charged with endeavoring.
"I think when people see us out here doing this, maybe it's going to be a deterrent," said Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault.
Deputies stopped another man trying to Wal-Mart after noticing he noticed the operation.
Authorities found Marijuana, a pipe for it and a meth pipe in the vehicle. They arrested Calvin Riggs on warrants for failing to pay child support and possession of meth. He faces additional charges.
"Any crime that we investigate or take a report on, we can link back to the meth problem," said Chennault.
By the end of the day, two people were taken to jail, three others, were cited.
Deputies say the big picture: they slowed down meth, even if just for a day.
Deputies tell us these suppliers for meth cooks can make anywhere from $30 to $100 after making a run to a pharmacy to get pseudoephedrine.