Van Buren County and Southwestern Michigan continues to see a big impact of methamphetamine and the associated clandestine labs. Over the last couple years we have also seen an increase in heroin and prescription pill sales and use throughout the county.
The Van Buren County Narcotics Division works closely with local police departments and surrounding counties to address the needs of Cities and Villages that cannot address the drug problem on their own, also combat cross County drug dealing. The Narcotics Division also works closely with Federal Agencies, such as the Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigations, and others for cases that warrant Federal prosecution.
Meth Lab Trash
The Van Buren County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit, receive numerous calls from citizens regarding meth lab trash found along side of roads, open fields and wooded areas. After the snow is gone, it is easier to notice these items on the ground. Some of these items may have been there through the winter or just recently thrown there.
The items typically found are plastic 2 liter pop bottles used as gas generators, which can be either capped or have a tube sticking out from the bottle. Even if they look old, once moved, they will start to react again and give off a hazardous gas. Another item typically found are plastic Gatorade type bottles, which are used as the actual meth lab vessel. These are generally capped containing the waste, after a cook is finished. You will also find peeled batteries, used coffee filters, used bottles of drain opener, Lye and camp fuel cans.
Sometimes these items are tossed out as a single item, but mostly these items are all in one trash bag. No matter how long they have been there, these items pose a potential hazard to you. If you see an item you believe is meth related, do not touch it. If you see a trash bag along the road or even in a field, do not open the bag. Once these items are disturbed, the reaction may begin again, giving off a hazardous gas. These items also pose additional hazards by being caustic and flammable.
If you believe you have located a meth trash dump site, stay away and contact authorities. Anyone with information can contact the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office at 269-657-3101, Crime Stoppers 800-342-7867, Silent Observer 269-343-2100 or your local police department.