With weather cooling, among those who’ll be moving indoors are some of Iowa’s drug makers. Manufacturing of methamphetamine is often done outside, in rural areas, because the illegal drug has a strong odor. Jasper County Sheriff Mike Balmer has advice for motel owners, landlords or neighbors. He says they may suspect a lab if they smell strange chemical odors, and should call the sheriff’s office so lab-trained officers can go verify the presence of drug-making setups that need cleaning up. Balmer says farmers heading to their fields for harvest also find some hidden labs in fields as well as drug “dumps”…discarded drug-making equipment and supplies.He says farmers who find those should also call authorities to clean them up, and he cautions them not to touch discarded equipment like containers, hoses, tubing, or bags of trash in unusual places. When cold weather forces them to move a “cook” inside, the sheriff says it increases the danger to innocent bystanders. He says when you’re in a closed building, the fumes of ether and gases they use are flammable and increase the risk of explosion.
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