Meth producers targeted at local stores - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Meth producers targeted at local stores

April 25, 2006

Cairo- Shoppers in one south Georgia community are finding more than sale signs on their local store shelves. A new shelf tag at pharmacies and hardware stores in Grady County draws attention to the products used to create Methamphetamines and hopes to stop its producers.

Signs in local pharmacies and hardware stores let criminal know the Sheriff's office and local pharmacists are watching.

"It seems like Grady County is a hot spot for cooking meth," said Sheriff Harry Young, Grady County.

So, the Sheriff's office is targeting those meth producers by building a network of eyes and ears where the ingredients are being sold.

"If our drug stores that sell the ingredients that go into Methamphetamines don't help us than there's not a whole lot we can, it gives us a great advantage on finding out who making it who's buying the ingredients to make meth," said Young.

"Anytime that we have a chance with a problem this large I think it's even larger than we all want to recognize at this point, that anybody that can help us limit that for our kids I think that's our biggest plan," said Drew Pyrz, Cox Pharmacist.

Most people know Sudafed is a major component in making Methamphetamines, but what you might not know is Liquid Fire, Denatured Alcohol, and things like Heet are also used in making Methamphetamines and they're disappearing from area store shelves. O'Reilley Auto Parts, they're selling Heet by the case, they can't keep it on the shelf.

But even if the program is successful in south Georgia and producers stop buying, the Sheriff says they may shop elsewhere.

"They can go down to Florida and Tallahassee even and go to so many different stores there and go in and buy 25 or 30 packs of Sudafed or Pseudoephedrine a day," said Young.

A Mother's against Meth group and a program to educate high school students hope to further educate the community and keep them in the fight to keep meth out.

The Mother's Against Meth group meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Red Hills Probation Office.

The fight may get easier starting July first, new legislation passed by the state legislature will put any Pseudoephedrine product behind the counter at pharmacies.

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