SELLERSBURG, Ind. (WDRB) - Crystal meth made by Mexican cartels is finding its way into Indiana, according to law enforcement. That's one reason the number of meth lab busts is actually going down. Indiana State Police say they're seeing more people starting to buy meth instead of cooking it. Still, the state is on track have the most meth lab seizures in the country for 2014. There were a total of 1,416 incidents involving meth labs last year.
"The numbers are still staggering," said Indiana State Police Sgt. Philip Hensley. "When you consider that statewide we're taking down almost four meth labs a day, every single day, that's a tremendous number."
Looking nationwide, not all the numbers have been crunched yet. But police say through September, Indiana had 1,112 meth lab seizures, Tennessee had 813 and Missouri had 800.
"This is a trend we believe is going to put us unfortunately first in the nation for the second year in a row," Hensley told WDRB News. "We've been top five in the nation probably for the last decade."
Even though Indiana will likely have the highest number in the country, it's still down from 2013, when police reported more than 1,700 incidents involving meth labs.
"There's a lot more methamphetamine coming in that's being trafficked into the Midwest and Indiana and particular -- mainly from states like California and other states in the Southwest," Hensley said. "Kind of moves up from Mexico and then is trafficked over."
Police say the crystal meth made in Mexico is more pure and stronger. It has a higher street value and is becoming more available.
"It's easier for people, rather than go to the trouble and risk of manufacturing just to find a supplier, someone to buy it from, get what they need and move on," Hensley said.
Police say they are much more proactive than they were 10 years ago. The state police unit that focuses on meth has grown. Troopers are also working to catch people moving drugs into the state.
If you suspect someone is using or trafficking in meth in your Indiana neighborhood, or want to report a possible meth lab site, call Indiana State Police at 800-453-4756.
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