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Law enforcement officials stress ‘anti-smurfing’ efforts in battle against meth

7.30.15 – Arianna Pickard, Tulsa World

Oklahoma has seen a significant decrease in methamphetamine manufacturing over the past several years, but state officials say preventing people from buying, selling and trading cold medications for the purpose of making meth remains a challenge for law enforcement.

The number of meth labs in the state has decreased by 79 percent since anti-meth legislation was passed in 2012, said state Rep. David Derby, R-Owasso, at a news conference Wednesday.

Authorities in Tulsa have destroyed 22 known meth labs this year, which is down from a high of 431 in 2011 when national attention focused on Oklahoma, Tulsa Police Department Maj. Eric Dalgleish said at the news conference.

But Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said he wants to bring that number down to zero, and that’s why he held the news conference to remind the public of the risk of criminal prosecution associated with participating in any part of the meth-manufacturing process.

Because of restrictions on the sale of pseudoephedrine, which contains chemicals used to make meth, manufacturers of the drug may recruit people to help them get around the restrictions by buying cold and allergy medications containing pseudoephedrine from multiple retailers until they have gathered enough to make meth.

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