Police helping citizens become more aware of meth dangers - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Police helping citizens become more aware of meth dangers

The death of a 29-year old man during a meth lab explosion, is now classified as the city's first known meth lab death. Narcotics officials are hoping people learn from the tragedy.

It seems simple. They hope this will in some way put the fear in some people, but most of all they want members of the public, ordinary citizens to become more aware.

It is going to be a big night for the 45 metro Louisville detectives working undercover and an even bigger night for the people they arrest.

"We have several shootings in that particular area and we're going to try and curb street level drugs sales in that area," said Major Jim Sohan. And the chances are good they'll learn more about the ever-growing problems with meth labs in metro Louisville.

It's a dangerous and deadly. A problem, that took the life of 29-year old Joseph Lewis, of Bernstadt, Kentucky.

"This is our first fatality here in Louisville-metro in reference to a meth lab, actually, the people manufacturing meth," said Sgt. Stan Salyards.

Salyards says Lewis sustained severe burns during an explosion at an Okolona apartment Tuesday. He says Lewis was working on what's called a one pot method; using a two-liter bottle, putting the chemicals in the bottle, using ether and lithium metal. It's probably the most explosive way of making meth. Salyards does and uses everything he can to teach the community about spotting meth labs.

"That way they can report it to us, and we can go out and check it out," said Salyards.

His office is like a show and tell. He has the actual tools of the trade, confiscated city-wide. He has evidence photos from the actual meth-lab busts and he'll even let us see inside the life of a meth-user, as he or she deteriorates using meth on a regular basis. Police say two other people were with Lewis during the lab explosion on Leisure Lane in Okolona. Those two were not hurt and have yet to be charged, but both are suspects.

But maybe someone in the group working the streets Wednesday night, will be able to help stop another senseless incident. Already in 2008, metro police have investigated 55 meth lab incidents in metro Louisville. And it doesn't look like the trend will stop anytime soon.

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