There’s a new meth on the market in Missouri as manufacturers of the illegal drug are coming up with ways to further skirt the law and speed up the "cooking" process.
It’s called "shake and bake" and it’s a new way to make methamphetamine without previously necessary chemicals.
Sgt. Jason Clark, public information officer with the Division of Drug and Crime Control for the Missouri Highway Patrol says the traditional methods used anhydrous ammonia or red phosphorous in what’s called "Nazi Dope" or "Red P," respectively. The shake and bake method surpasses both of those ingredients.
It’s basically where manufacturers mix various chemicals in a plastic bottle and agitate them until they crystallize into meth.
But Clark says the shake and bake method might be the most dangerous yet. Since the chemicals used are so volatile when reacting with each other, water and air, an explosive reaction is extremely likely.
Clark says this method is less efficient than the traditional lab/cooking technique, but has become popular in areas where anhydrous ammonia or red phosphorous are not readily available.
A law passed a few years ago put pseudoephedrine-based cold meds, such as Sudafed — another necessary ingredient — behind the counter. The intention of the law was to crack down on meth manufacturing and limit how much of the over-the-counter drug consumers could buy at one time. But now drug task force members say instead of several hundred pills to make a batch of meth, now it only takes a few grams.
A report that came out recently put Missouri at the top of the national list for the number of meth busts and lab seizures or discoveries, but Clark says despite that, the numbers are coming down.
The Highway Patrol says one can look at the numbers in two ways — that there’s more meth in Missouri than anywhere else, or that authorities here are doing a better job in cracking down on the clandestine industry.
The Highway Patrol says shake and bake meth is just another aspect of an ever-changing industry. While "Mexican Ice" was prevalent for awhile because of its low cost in comparison to locally made meth, that is on the decline.
Like any manufacturing industry, the patrol says, the masterminds behind the process are going to continually become more efficient and speed up the turnaround process.
The patrol asks Missourians to keep and eye on their surroundings and report suspicious activity to the authorities, which might include:
– Frequent visitors at all times of the day or night.
– Activity at the house at odd hours or late at night.
– Occupants appear unemployed, yet seem to have plenty of money and pay bills with cash.
– Occupants are unfriendly, appear secretive about activities.
– Extensive security at the home.
– Blackened windows or curtains that are always down.
– Occupants go outside the house to smoke cigarettes.
– Chemical odors coming from the house, garage, or detached buildings.
– Garbage containing numerous bottles and containers.
– Coffee filters, bed sheets or other material stained from filtering red phosphorus or other chemicals.
– Occupants set their garbage for pick up in another neighbor’s collection area.
– Evidence of chemical or waste dumping, such as burn pits or "dead spots" in the yard.