More meth busts in Illinois; cheaper method on rise


TAYLORVILLE -- Police are busting more meth labs in Illinois this year, but some users in Central Illinois are finding an easier way to make it.

They're not busting what you typically think of when you hear "meth lab." Police say some are even making it in their car after one trip to the drugstore.

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp told WAND meth has been an ongoing problem in the county, but he has seen a recent increase in the "shake and bake" method.

"Shake and bake" means smaller batches on more of an individual-use basis, and Kettelkamp said it's a much more simple process.

He explained how a person will go inside a store and buy a single cold pak before mixing it up with other meth ingredients in a plastic bottle.

Police said it takes only about an hour to cook, and users come out with one to 1.5 grams of meth.

Kettelkamp said it's not just easier to produce -- it's easier to fly under law enforcement's radar.

"A lot of people don't see anything wrong with somebody going in [a drugstore]... and just buying one pack," said Kettelkamp. "Before [now] people were going from store to store, buying several packs. Now they just go in and buy one box where they can easily make one gram of methamphetamine."

With the rise in this newer and cheaper method, Kettelkamp said the county has seen a decrease in anhydrous ammonia thefts. But anhydrous ammonia is not required when using the "shake and bake" method because ammonium nitrate replaces it.

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