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More meth labs popping up in Tennessee

8:18 PM, Jan 7, 2013   |    comments
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Meth labs are on the rise in Tennessee. The Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force says early numbers show 2012 was one of the worst years with around 1,800 meth lab busts.

With two recent arrests in Blount County this past weekend, 10News checked into the numbers there and found in 2010 there were five meth lab busts. In 2011, there were 12 busts. 2012 brought 20 meth lab busts. And so far in 2013 there have been two meth lab busts.

Michael Aaron Bishop, 28, and Jeremy Dale Robinson, 30, were both arrested Friday after Blount County authorities discovered their first meth lab of the year at the Executive Lodge motel in Alcoa. Investigators found a bag with a "one pot" method meth lab, also known as a "shake and bake" method. The Blount County Sheriff's Office said the meth was not cooked at the motel.

One day later, the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force (comprised of deputies and officers of the Blount County Sheriff's Office, Alcoa Police Department, and Maryville Police Department) was called to the Big K-mart on McCammon Avenue in Maryville where investigators found another "one pot" meth lab in a backpack in a grassy area near the store's parking lot. Deputies say evidence shows meth had been recently cooked.

Maryville resident Wilford Myers is very concerned about the increase. He said, "It's just a disgrace to our county, you know. And putting people's lives in jeopardy and these kids and stuff, I'm just totally against it."

Tom Farmer with the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force said the "one pot" meth labs account for about 85 percent of the busts across the state. He also said the "one pot" method is by far the most dangerous method of them all because it's not a matter of "if" an explosion will occur, but rather "when" an explosion will occur.

Authorities are expecting 2013 to be an even bigger year for meth busts, as the state's number of busts is already in the double digits, averaging seven meth lab busts a day.

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