Monday, February 28, 2011

DEA cuts funding for meth-lab cleanup

Local law enforcement agencies' attempts to curb methamphetamine production have taken a hit with the Drug Enforcement Administration's announcement that it was cutting funding for cleanup of meth labs. "According to records, $10 million was transferred to the DEA for meth-related spending nationally in fiscal year 2010," DeWayne Patterson of The Daily Sentinel in Scottsboro, Ala., reports. "The funding was not included in President Barack Obama's recommended 2011 budget."

"Right now, all we can do is the best we can," said Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips. Scottsboro Police Lt. Scott Matthews told Patterson the average meth lab costs $2,500 to clean up. Previously when a meth-related arrest was made, local law enforcement called the DEA to clean up the lab, Matthew said. "I'm not sure what the plan is now," he told Patterson. "I don't know."

The loss in funding will affect every law-enforcement agency in the country, said Jackson County District Attorney Charlie Rhodes. "Right now, we don't have the answers to what we will do," he told Patterson. DEA reports every pound of meth produced can yield up to five pounds of toxic waste, Patterson writes. "We can't just leave it," Rhodes said. "It's very dangerous." (Read more)

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