Tulsa Co. ranked highest among meth labs in U.S.

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Updated: 2/13/2013 10:39 am Published: 2/12/2013 8:16 pm

The meth capital of the United States is on our own backyard.

A map released by CNN Money shows Tulsa County had 949 contaminated meth lab sites in the country from 2004-2012. The highest number reported in the country.

Based on law enforcement reports, the numbers were compiled by the Drug Enforcement Administration National Clandestine Laboratory.

Police say new legislation cracking down on pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient to make meth also found in cold medicine has helped, but it’s not enough.

National meth expert, Corporal Mike Griffin, with Tulsa Police Special Investigations, says the only way to get rid of meth is to get rid of pseudoephedrine and make it prescription.

FOX23 revisited a north Tulsa home where TPD Special Investigations officers busted for meth last year. Inside they found children malnourished who were living in filth.

Now, the home is boarded up.

"It's becoming a bigger epidemic,” said a father.

Tulsa has been known as the meth capitol of the United States and with CNN’s map showing Tulsa County has the highest number of meth lab sites in the United States.

“It's absolutely not acceptable. I would like to see it all gone," says Sgt. Dave Roberts.

He’s an undercover officer for the Tulsa County Drug Task Force. He says meth is a homegrown drug, easily made and easy to get hooked on.

"It's a rampant deal,” says Roberts.

Meth has been invading the Tulsa community for decades.

FOX23 News went back in archives and found in 2007, Tulsa Police busted 20 meth labs. In 2011, the number went up to 429 and in 2012, there were 295 meth labs.

Police say just because there were fewer meth labs in 2012 than the prior year, the meth problem isn’t going away.

One reason Roberts says could be for the higher number of meth reported is awareness in the community.

"It's being reported more here in surrounding states," says Roberts.

Law enforcement in Northeast Oklahoma are better trained and aggressive at fighting meth.

However, deputies say that doesn’t change Tulsa’s reputation or the meth problem and law enforcement is not giving up.

"We're doing what we can everyday and fighting the battle and trying to keep the community safe and keep it clean,” said Roberts.

Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris is known to be tough on meth makers. In 2011, his agency reports 312 cases were filed involving endeavoring to manufacture meth and in 2012, his office filed 200 cases.

On The Tulsa County District Attorney posts who DOC is releasing early. Under state, non-violent offenders including meth convicts are eligible for early release on GPS Monitoring. FOX23 News found in January, seven people convicted of meth-related crimes were released early from prison. Some were sentenced to ten to twelve years and were out in less than three years.

TPD Corporal Griffin says repeated meth convicts are “absurdly high.”

TPD Meth Busts: Data provided by TPD

*2004-129 2005-51
2013 to present-23

*Behind-the-counter pseudoephedrine law went into effect

**First eight months there were 11 labs. Starting in September there were 32 labs for the rest of the year.)

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

aleman - 2/14/2013 7:04 PM
0 Votes
Hell if they gotta lie about them to get money to stop them I'm all for it...we all know the the ones they have caught are probably less than one percent of them...you have to be blind or stupid not to see Tulsa has a big problem...if it were a disease like the flu the Army would have been called in and martial law declared,it's epidemic and biblical in proportion...our city weenies live in denial of the problem we have

Unwashed Mass - 2/13/2013 8:57 PM
1 Vote
Criticizing made-up meth lab numbers isnt quite the same as "defending" meth makers.

WyoMoe - 2/13/2013 10:31 AM
2 Votes
I would rather see the money (Federal or Local) spent on "Meth Prison" where EVERY Meth offense would carry a Mandatory Minimum of 20 years that included Counseling and Rehabilitation.

aleman - 2/13/2013 5:16 AM
1 Vote
And each one of those bottles are equally dangerous,every day we read about one blowing up burning down houses and apartments and the people exposed to the fumes,children scarred for life...there ain't no defending this satanic concoction...they need to give the death penalty to these big eared one tooth zombies for making it for the pain and heartache it causes

Unwashed Mass - 2/12/2013 11:28 PM
1 Vote
This is misleading and inaccurate because Tulsa County changed the way it counts meth labs to vastly inflate the numbers, claiming every single pop bottle or medicine jar is a complete separate meth "laboratory", when in the past a meth lab was one address. This is just a fraudulent grab at federal grant money.

BrideyMurphy - 2/12/2013 10:46 PM
1 Vote
Well this should really bring a lot of business to the area....I know if I was looking for a location for any kind of business I would choose the ne with the most meth labs....how could that not work out? Oh we all should be sooooo ashamed.

RETOKSQUID - 2/12/2013 10:21 PM
1 Vote
Well so much for all the anti-meth laws we have on the books. Seems like the only people it causes problems for are those who obey the law.
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