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Dramatic Drop In Number Of Springfield Meth Labs

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – In 2011 Springfield police shut down about 108 meth labs inside the Springfield city limits, but in 2014 we’re down to only 14 meth labs so far this year. So what’s behind this dramatic reduction in the amount of meth labs here in Springfield?

"That is really a positive thing to see the reduction in methamphetamine labs but it does not equate to the amount of methamphetamine we’re seeing," says Major Kirk Manlove with the Springfield Police Department.

Despite the reduction in local meth labs, the amount of meth out on the streets is at an all time high because more and more meth from Mexico is making its way into Springfield.

"It’s more pure, a lot more pure, probably 99 percent pure in some cases, versus what someone could actually make in the state," says Manlove.

Mexican drug cartels make large amounts of meth in super labs in Mexico and transport it across the border.

This Mexican meth can be twice as potent and it’s cheap enough to convince addicts to buy rather than attempt to cook their own.

"It’s not unique that drugs come from south of the border, that’s been happening for a very long time, the volume this last year was just something we had not seen before," says Manlove.

Stopping the flow of this Mexican meth is a challenge for local police departments.

"It’s a matter of building an investigation and stopping those folks that are distributing in the state, but a lot of this is really on a national level when you have methamphetamine coming through the border like it is," says Manlove.

Police say if the government were able to stop the flow of meth across the border, we would likely see addicts turn back to cooking for themselves and we could see a resurgence of meth labs in the area. It’s a vicious cycle fueled by addiction.