CHARLOTTE, NC– Cooking and using meth is a growing epidemic in Lincoln County. This week, deputies busted their record 19th meth lab.
Local residents say meth labs are popping up everywhere: inside houses, mobile homes, hotel rooms and even cars.
Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, ice, crystal or crank is a synthetic stimulant that affects the nervous system. Classified as one of the most addictive drugs, meth has grown in popularity because it’s cheap and simply too easy to make.
Since January 1st, there have been 19 meth lab busts and 34 arrests in Lincoln County. Residents say it’s a growing problem they’ve noticed in their neck of the woods.
“It’s shocking that it’s grown this fast,” says Lincoln Co. resident, Brandon Gilbert, “I had no idea we had that many in our city.”
Lincoln County Sheriff David Carpenter says the number of meth-related arrests in Lincoln Co. is the highest it’s ever been. In 2011, they made four meth lab busts. In 2012, they made six. And so far in 2013, they’ve been 19 and the year is far from over.
Carpenter attributes the high number of arrests to a new data-base system called N-Plex. It allows law enforcement to track the sales of precursors, like Sudafed- an ingredient commonly used to make meth.
“We are just now seeing the benefits of the program,” says Carpenter.
As long as residents continue to abuse the drug, Carpenter says, law enforcement will be ready to keep cracking down.