State law enforcement officials are reminding hunters to be on the lookout for abandoned meth labs as pheasant season opens this weekend. Over 200-thousand hunters are expected to walk woods and fields of Iowa this weekend and surveys show their ringnecked prey should be plentiful. The director of the Iowa Division of Narcotics, Ken Carter, says the areas where the pheasants seek haven from hunters are the same places you find meth labs. He says they’re found along the tree line, out of sight, but just 100 to 150 feet from a roadway, under overpasses and bridges and along streams. Meth makers use a variety of common items to cook up the highly-addictive drug. He says you’ll find discarded ether cans, red plastic gas cans, a propane tank like you’d see on a common barbecue grill, various hoses and empty packages of the common cold drugs ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. Carter says if you see anything like this — be very careful and don’t touch it. He says they don’t want anybody to get hurt, as they could start a reaction, or restart a reaction of the chemicals and get hurt. Carter says if you see a meth lab, get away and call the authorities and let them know.A veteran narcotics agent says it’s an accident waiting to happen, especially the tanks and bottles hooked to hoses. He says the anhydrous used in making meth can make the valves deteriorate, pressure builds up and the valves can pop at any time. The agent — who is not being identified to protect his ability to work undercover — says if you see anything that looks like a meth lab, don’t touch it. He says you should instead move away and call police and report the site. Officials say central and southern Iowa have seen the largest number of illegal meth labs in recent months.
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