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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Morgan County, Alabama - Meth Labs Reported

We heard stories during the primary election about the number of Meth busts made in Morgan County time after time.  The stories were reported in the Huntsville Times, Decatur Daily, Channels 48, 19, and 31 etc.  You couldn't turn on the TV without seeing and hearing the sheriff report that she and her drug task force found (Pick a number, any number) of abandoned meth labs in the ditches, creeks, on gravel roads and the like.  Her numbers far exceed the actual Meth labs reported in the state and national databases.  Many of the stories you heard about the number of Meth labs found in Morgan County was pure fabrications or the national and state statics are wrong.

Unfortunately, the number of videos is large of a number to post on the blog.

See Below:

Morgan County Drug Task Force named Alabama's Narcotics Unit of the Year
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on May 31, 2014 at 8:17 AM

DECATUR, Alabama - The Morgan County Drug Task Force has been named Alabama's 2013-14 Narcotics Unit of the Year.

Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin said the task force has investigated nearly 1,000 meth labs, conducted thousands of undercover stings for meth, cocaine and marijuana, and was among the first to crack down on the sale of ephedrine. Ephedrine is a stimulant commonly used to make methamphetamine.

The task force is "willing to work with the courts and the District Attorney's Office to give the offenders a second chance when needed," said Franklin, "but they are aggressive in the courtroom when children or repeat offenders are involved."
She credited the task force with helping spur a 30 percent reduction in Morgan County's overall crime rate for non-drug offenses.

"This award is not based on a single event, but rather a continuous fight, every day, to make a difference," said Franklin.

NOTE:  The TOTAL Alabama Meth clandestine laboratory incidents including labs, dumpsites, chemical/glass/equipment is as follows:
2011 = 292        
2012 = 310                       
2013 = 223
2014 = 112
Total = 937


NOTE:  THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN SAY TO EXPLAIN THIS REPORT

SHERIFF:  Meth may be playing role in rise of corn prices
Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013 12:00 am
By Ben Montgomery
The Decatur Daily

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Methamphetamine cooks may have a role in your rising grocery bills.
Ammonium nitrate, a chemical used by farmers as a corn fertilizer, is commonly used as an ingredient in one-pot meth labs, a simplified method of making meth in a soda bottle or other small container. Prices for the fertilizer have skyrocketed in the last few years.

Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin said massive government regulation enacted to try to keep the chemical from meth cookers has contributed to the meteoric price increase.

"I don't know if it is the reason, but it's definitely a reason," she said. "People don't understand all the outlying effects of meth."

Meth production requires chemical reaction. Since meth first became a problem, key ingredients systematically became illegal or highly regulated. First it was ephedrine in cold medicine. Then red phosphorous. Then ammonium nitrate.

Laws passed in 2011 require such regulations as purchaser verification and for merchants to report suspicious purchases.

"Every time the government puts another restriction in place, (meth cooks) find a way around it," Franklin said.

Corn prices have steadily increased since 2004, from $2 to $3 a bushel to about $7 this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Prices for fertilizer-grade ammonium nitrate in spring of 1993 was $154 per metric ton in the southeast U.S., according to the U.S. International Trade Commission. Now it sells for $300-$600.
According to the Department of Agriculture, 12.4 billion bushels of field corn are produced every year. About a third of the corn supply in the U.S. is used as feed for livestock, about 40 percent is used for ethanol, about 10 percent is exported and another 10 percent goes to other food industries to be made into products like corn syrup. A bushel is about 56 pounds.

Marilyn Champion of Champion Farms in Falkville has used ammonium nitrate on her corn crops for years.
She said bags of fertilizer cost $18.50.

"It used to be one of the cheapest fertilizers," she said. "It was $12 a few years ago."
Ammonium nitrate is volatile and is one of the chemicals that makes meth labs explode, Franklin said. It is a key ingredient in incendiary explosive devices used by terrorists and was the principal ingredient in the truck bomb detonated outside the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995. The fertilizer plant in West, Texas, that exploded last month was storing 270 tons of the chemical.

Franklin drew a logical conclusion to make a point to potential meth users: "Please, please, please do not ingest things that are otherwise a bomb."
Ben Montgomery can be reached at 256-340-2445 or ben@decaturdaily.com.


9 discarded meth labs recovered in Morgan County; 3 arrests made in separate meth case
4 / 11
Discarded meth labs found in Morgan County (Contributed by the Morgan County Sheriff's Office)
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By Jonathan Grass | jgrass@al.com 
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on June 26, 2015 at 8:58 PM, updated June 26, 2015 at 9:15 PM

It was a busy week for the methamphetamine battle in Morgan County. The Morgan County Drug Task Force recovered nine discarded meth labs along Natural Bridge Road throughout the week. Three meth arrests were made, but those are not related to the creek cleanup.

Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin reports they found a total of six one-pot meth labs in and around the creek. Four of them were floating in the 300 block along with two HCL gas generators and meth lab trash.

Agents found two more dump sites in ditches in the 100 and 200 blocks of Natural Bridge Road. Franklin reports they found an additional three one-pot labs. She said that besides the nine labs and two generators, agents had two full bags of meth lab trash.

"These items are highly hazardous to the environment and are extremely hazardous to people who accidentally come into contact with chemicals associated with the manufacturing of methamphetamine," Franklin said in a statement. "We ask that citizens of the county who observe trash that appears suspicious in nature not to handle trash. The risk of exposure is great and could be deadly. Contact your local law enforcement agency and report it."

Agents are attempting to identify who is responsible for the discarded meth labs,
The sheriff's office also sent notification of an unrelated meth bust on Thursday. Franklin reports that a deputy working North Alabama Highway Safety Operations stopped a vehicle because it had an expired tag and the occupants weren't wearing seat belts. The deputy reportedly found 21 grams of crystal meth and drug paraphernalia. There were two women inside, Kimberly Brand, 27, and Britney Wilson, 27. The deputy said neither of them claimed the drugs.

Wilson's boyfriend showed up during the traffic stop, according to the report. It was discovered this man, Brandon Langford, 39, had outstanding warrants with the Athens Police Department. During questioning at the Morgan County Jail drug agents say he admitted buying cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine to give to a known meth cooker.Langford was charged with the second-degree unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance. Brand was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Wilson's charge was unlawful possession of a controlled substance.


Meth lab dump site found in Morgan County
Amethyst Holmes | aholmes@al.comBy Amethyst Holmes | aholmes@al.com 
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on September 04, 2013 at 7:58 PM, updated September 04, 2013 at 8:06 PM

A meth lab dump site was found in the area of Rock Creek Road and Tarkil Road Tuesday Sept. 4, 2013. (Morgan County Sheriff's Office)

MORGAN COUNTY, Alabama - A meth lab dump site was discovered while workers were mowing the shoulder of a roadway in the area of Rock Creek Road and Tarkil Road, Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin said.

Franklin said Morgan County Drug Task Force agents found approximately 30 one-pot meth labs discarded alongside the roadway and down an embankment 50 feet from the roadway. The labs will be disposed of properly.

The Morgan County Sheriff's Office asks anyone who sees trash being thrown from vehicles, sees people acting suspicious or vehicles parked on the roadway to report those instances. Chemicals associated with meth labs are dangerous. If suspicious items are found, report the findings and do not tamper with them, Franklin said.


Hazardous one-pot meth labs found discarded in Morgan County
Posted 4:24 pm, June 26, 2015, by Kasey Langley

MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. — The Morgan County Drug Task Force wants you to be on guard against hazardous materials after agents located several discarded meth labs on Natural Bridge Road.

Agents located four one-pot methamphetamine labs, two HCL gas generators, and meth lab trash floating in a creek in the 300 block of Natural Bridge Road. They found a total of six one-pot methamphetamine labs in and around the creek.
Agents located two more lab dump sites in ditches along the 100 and 200 blocks of Natural Bridge Road. They later found three more one-pot meth labs.
They found a total of nine one pot meth labs, two HCL gas generators, and two trash bags full of meth lab trash.

These items are extremely hazardous to the environment and people who come in contact with the chemicals.  The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office asks anyone who observes suspicious trash like this to not touch it but report it to the local enforcement agency.

Officials are working to identify the person or persons responsible for dumping the meth lab trash into the waterway.


Morgan Sheriff’s Department cleans up meth lab waste
Posted: Friday, May 11, 2012 12:00 am
By Seth Burkett | 0 comments
The Morgan County Sheriff’s Department spent Thursday cleaning up methamphetamine lab dump sites around the county.

Sheriff Ana Franklin said agents targeted more than 40 meth labs that had been dumped in the Priceville, Somerville, Valhermoso Springs, Eva, Falkville and Danville areas.

“Some of it is not just the one-pot meth labs,” the sheriff said. “Sometimes it was chemicals and process waste. We found some gas generators, the things they use to gas off the product with hydrochloric acid.”

The sheriff said the effort was aimed at preserving woodlands and waterways, as well as citizens from hazardous chemicals.

Most of the labs were found in ditches and creek beds.

“We were out in areas that we knew had a high probability, areas where we had heard about them or where there were meth labs before,” she said.

Agents are trying to trace evidence back to those making the meth, Franklin said.
Franklin encouraged anyone who finds an abandoned meth lab not to handle it.
Get to a safe area and call the sheriff’s office, she said.

“It’s basically the same chemicals you make a homemade bomb with. We want to make sure they don’t have any explosive characteristics to them,” she said.



Meth lab dump site found in Morgan County
By Amethyst Holmes | aholmes@al.com 
Email the author | 
Follow on Twitter
on September 04, 2013 at 7:58 PM, updated September 04, 2013 at 8:06 PM

A meth lab dump site was found in the area of Rock Creek Road and Tarkil Road Tuesday Sept. 4, 2013. (Morgan County Sheriff's Office)

MORGAN COUNTY, Alabama - A meth lab dump site was discovered while workers were mowing the shoulder of a roadway in the area of Rock Creek Road and Tarkil Road, Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin said.

Franklin said Morgan County Drug Task Force agents found approximately 30 one-pot meth labs discarded alongside the roadway and down an embankment 50 feet from the roadway. The labs will be disposed of properly.

The Morgan County Sheriff's Office asks anyone who sees trash being thrown from vehicles, sees people acting suspicious or vehicles parked on the roadway to report those instances. Chemicals associated with meth labs are dangerous. If suspicious items are found, report the findings and do not tamper with them, Franklin said. 


Hazardous one-pot meth labs found discarded in Morgan County
Posted 4:24 pm, June 26, 2015, by Kasey Langley 
Photo Gallery
MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. — The Morgan County Drug Task Force wants you to be on guard against hazardous materials after agents located several discarded meth labs on Natural Bridge Road.

Agents located four one-pot methamphetamine labs, two HCL gas generators, and meth lab trash floating in a creek in the 300 block of Natural Bridge Road. They found a total of six one-pot methamphetamine labs in and around the creek.
Agents located two more lab dump sites in ditches along the 100 and 200 blocks of Natural Bridge Road. They later found three more one-pot meth labs.
They found a total of nine one pot meth labs, two HCL gas generators, and two trash bags full of meth lab trash.

These items are extremely hazardous to the environment and people who come in contact with the chemicals.  The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office asks anyone who observes suspicious trash like this to not touch it but report it to the local enforcement agency.

Officials are working to identify the person or persons responsible for dumping the meth lab trash into the waterway.



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