Archived Story

Drug Enforcement Team kept busy

Published 9:13am Monday, April 26, 2010

By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star

CASSOPOLIS – It’s been a busy start to the year for the Cass County Drug Enforcement Team.
Since Jan. 1, there have been 47 methamphetamine incidents. The team has also located 25 dump sites and had its hands on 94 one-pot labs, while taking 24 guns off the street.

The drug is not only a chemical danger to the community but it is breaking up families. Eleven children have been taken into protective custody since Jan. 1 due to their caretakers’ involvement with meth.

Det. Sgt. David Toxopeus said those numbers are a huge increase.

“On average, we were getting labs once a month maybe. Now we’re getting 10-plus a month,” he said. “A lot of it is education, educating people. They kind of know what to look for.”

Toxopeus said citizen complaints are vitally important in curbing the manufacturing of meth.
“The biggest way we combat one-pot labs is from citizens’ complaints, people calling in saying something’s wrong with my neighbors,” he said. “Too much traffic, strong smell of chemicals.”
Citizens can recognize a one-pot meth lab as a two-liter bottle with a crystalized, off white-colored residue inside.

If someone locates a suspected meth lab, he should call 911 and report it but not touch it. The seemingly harmless bottles are a major fire hazard and contain chemicals dangerous to inhale.
“Sometimes they might be in an inactive state, but if you shake it or it gets jarred around, some of the chemicals will react,” Toxopeus said. “It could be just a pinhole but a 20-foot flame could shoot out of that pinhole.”

After the snow melted in Cass County, the drug enforcement team was inundated with old meth labs, which was another chore for the team to clean up.

If citizens suspect someone being involved with meth, they can call the Cass County drug tip line at (800) 462-9328.

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  • The children

    WOW! Cass County must be competing for meth capitol of Michigan. Great publicity.

  • jgreen49112

    I like the comment..“The biggest way we combat one-pot labs is from citizens’ complaints, people calling in saying something’s wrong with my neighbors,” he said.
    Most times if you call the Police they act like your bothering them. I just look the other way and hope they somehow stumble upon it. My neighbors driveway is like a bank drive thru and his best friend was caught making meth. Don’t need many clues do ya? That Caddy with the 20 inch rims in a poor neighborhood says something i’d think.

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