ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOX)- Franklin and Jefferson Counties may still be considered the region’s methamphetamine capitals, but St. Louis County is quickly becoming the place meth cooks are coming to get the key ingredient for their deadly brew.
Investigators say that since it now takes a prescription to buy pseudoephedrine in Franklin, Jefferson and St. Charles Counties, sales of the drug are skyrocketing in St. Louis County.
St. Louis County Detective Mike McCartney says the word is out, “Oh they know. They know that you don’t need to have a prescription in St. Louis County.”
McCartney says it became especially evident when St. Charles enacted its prescription requirement last fall, “Anywhere there’s, for lack of better words, a bridge across the river, the pharmacy’s pseudoephedrine sales have jumped dramatically.”
McCartney says that jump in sales, is not because more people are suffering from allergies and head colds, “If I make contact with say, ten individuals with pseudoephedrine pills, I’m going to say eight to nine of those are going to be used to make methamphetamine.”
Franklin County’s top narcotics detective, Sgt. Jason Grellner, says the evidence is turning up throughout the region, “Jefferson County is averaging over one lab per day and all of the individuals, and all of those labs, are being fueled by pseudoephedrine coming out of St. Louis County. St. Charles County’s numbers are up and again all of those labs are being fueled by pseudoephedrine out of St. Louis County.
McCartney says one of the real dangers to St. Louis County residents and motorists, comes from meth makers cooking the stuff in the trunks of their cars, while driving back to the neighboring counties, “They will put together a ‘shake-n-bake’ bottle or a ‘one-pot’ and they will start making their methamphetamine in the vehicle that they’re riding in. That in itself poses a danger.”
As KMOX reported Thursday, investigators say most of the 21 Franklin and Jefferson County residents busted for meth making and selling this week, bought their pseudoephedrine in Kirkwood.
McCartney says investigators are paying close attention, especially to the busier pharmacies in St. Louis County.