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Learn more about the dangers of smurfing here

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New AL laws help cut down meth manufacturing in Tallapoosa Co.

Tallapoosa County Law Enforcement are taking advantage of new state laws to fight meth manufacturers and dealers.

But police say there is something everyone needs to be on the lookout for.

Meth lab seizures have dropped since new anti-meth laws were passed in 2012. There were 720 meth lab seizures in 2010 and last year only 154 were reported.

Those same laws also make it harder to purchase the materials needed to make meth.

"We just had a pseudoephedrine log and the drug task force would come in, say once a month, and would get a copy of the log," said pharmacist Stacey Benton. "At that point when someone would come in, we would write that down on paper, however now it’s on the computer."

But criminals are coming up with new ways to circumvent the new laws.

"What were seeing on the streets now is people get bystanders to go in and make those purchases for them," said Jimmy Abbett, Tallapoosa County Sheriff.

It’s a method called smurfing and more frequently, innocent people are being approached in parking lots like this to help someone cook meth without even knowing it.

"It happens on a daily basis, several times a day," said Benton. "It’s pretty obvious when you have a case where that’s going on, and I would say weekends are probably our worst time that we experience that."

Police say if you’re approached by someone who wants you to buy them cold medicine, to call them, or notify a store manager.

The drug task force says Alabama’s laws have proven so effective, 80% of the meth in the state is now being smuggled in by drug cartels from Mexico, California, and even Atlanta.