Pubdate: Thu, 18 Aug 2011
Source: Missoula Independent (MT)
Copyright: 2011 Missoula Independent
Author: Alex Sakariassen
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)



Late last month, the U.S. Forest Service in Region 1, which includes 
Montana, circulated an internal safety advisory alerting staff to a 
rash of "one-pot" methamphetamine cookers discovered on national 
forest lands. The cookers--a cheap and dirty way to manufacture 
meth--are volatile and carcinogenic.

"This is the first time such devices have been found in some of our 
areas," the Forest Service says. "But the one-pot labs have been 
popular in other parts of the country and urban areas and have 
apparently made it here."

The one-pot method, dubbed "shake-and-bake," uses cold pills, plastic 
tubes, liter soda bottles and a host of chemicals such as 
hydrochloric acid to mix up small batches of meth. Shake-and-bake has 
been a rising trend for years in other parts of the 
country--particularly the southwest. Missoula County Sheriff's 
Detective Scott Newell says his office has seen two or three one-pot 
cases in the last year. Recently, the Forest Service has found as 
many as five one-pots in a single weekend in western Montana, 
prompting them to alert state and local officials to the situation.

Forest Service spokesman Phil Sammon says the one-pot cookers are 
easily identifiable as they give off a powerful ammonia scent. The 
bottles should not be handled, he adds, since acids used in the 
meth-making process can cause serious burns. Carcinogens can also 
leach into the skin, causing health problems.

"These cookers cost about $1,500 each to clean up," Sammon says.

The Forest Service and other agencies have long noted concerns over 
meth manufacturers utilizing the remoteness of the region's forests 
for their operations. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Warden Captain 
Jeff Darrah says he hasn't noticed any increased activity on state 
land recently that's connected to meth cookers. But his officers have 
been trained by the Montana Drug Enforcement Agency to handle such 
situations, he says. "We're always on the lookout for that."
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