Pubdate: Fri, 16 Nov 2001
Source: Kentucky Post (KY)
Copyright: 2001 Kentucky Post
Author: Shelly Whitehead, Post staff reporter
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)
Bookmark: (Drug Raids)


Federal and local drug agents have dismantled seven methamphetamine labs, 
arrested 11 people and confiscated guns and drugs after month-long 
investigation in Grant and Boone counties.

The raids, which began last Friday, uncovered a series of labs operating 
out of homes in Dry Ridge, Crittenden, Verona and Walton, said Jim Paine, 
executive director of the Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force.

Last Friday and this Wednesday, agents recovered a massive 300-pound tank 
of anhydrous ammonia, which is used to make methamphetamine; 13 guns; 
various chemicals and equipment; and six ounces of the street stimulant 
valued at $6,000.

More arrests are expected soon, Paine said. Those arrested range in age 
from 23 to 41; all are residents of Grant County. But agents believe a 
number of Boone County residents are also operating the illegal labs.

Four of those arrested are free after posting bond. The remaining seven are 
still in the Grant County Detention Center after their arraignments, 
awaiting preliminary hearings next week on charges ranging from 
manufacturing methamphetamine and trafficking in narcotics to possession of 
drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Paine said the labs, including one operating in a small set of woods in Dry 
Ridge, posed great danger to neighbors.

"Most of the neighbors around these things don't have a clue what's going 
on and yeah, it concerns me," said Paine. "These people don't care what 
they do ... they'll dump chemicals and their by-products into creeks and it 
is a real danger to their neighbors."

Paine said after initial undercover buys were made, agents were able to 
locate one lab, which then led to the location of additional labs. He said 
most methamphetamine manufacturers are loosely connected in order to 
service their customers and obtain their manufacturing supplies.

Strike force agents were helped by Boone and Grant County Sheriff's 
deputies, Kenton County police and agents from the Cincinnati and Lexington 
offices of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
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