Officials shed light on consequences of "smurfing" - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Officials shed light on consequences of "smurfing"

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Statistics from the Drug Enforcement Administration show Indiana had the second highest amount of meth labs in the country last year.  City, county and state officials said they want to help Hoosiers combat this problem. 

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller came to CVS Pharmacy in Jeffersonville to tell folks how they can play a part in fighting the meth epidemic.  Zoeller pointed out that most people know using your ID to buy certain things for others is against the law.

"You cannot buy alcohol or cigarettes for a minor," said Zoeller.

One more item that's already being closely monitored through computer tracking systems will be added to that list.  Zoeller said purchasing pseudo ephedrine to give or to sell to a meth cook is now a class D felony.  To purchase pseudo ephedrine, one has to present their ID to the pharmacist.

The Indiana Attorney General joined Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore, prosecutors and retail officials in spreading awareness about the law against "smurfing" which went into effect earlier this year.  Zoeller said law enforcement ran into the issue so much, legislators had to make a specific crime for it.

"We have individuals that go from pharmacy to pharmacy to obtain these materials and then create these drugs.  It is a big drain on the community," said Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull.

"Over the last two years we have seen a significant increase in this and these laws are much needed," Mull said.

"The smurfers really fuel the meth manufacturing locally," Zoeller said.

"Smurfers" are those who buy pseudo ephedrine, the key meth ingredient, and give it to drug cooks.  One drug with that key ingredient, Nexafed, makes turning pseudo ephedrine into meth impossible.  Zoeller says the "anti-smurfing" campaign ads are to let people know they will track and punish "Smurfers."

Although it is not a law, some pharmacies require a prescription for pseudo ephedrine-containing drugs. Click here for more information on pseudo ephedrine state laws.  To learn more about meth in Indiana, visit http://meth.in.gov

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