The dedicated detectives of the Evansville Police Department's Meth Suppression Unit continue to fight the war on meth one box of pseudoephedrine at a time. But they aren't alone in the fight. In an Eyewitness News Special Report, we show you how several law enforcement agencies come together to fight a common enemy.
The meth epidemic is not just Evansville's problem. It's a problem gripping many communities across the region, big and small. With that in mind, the Methbusters take to the road in hopes of breaking the cycle.
There's a wreath above the door, a flag in the yard and a white picket fence. From the outside, it looks like a typical country home. But inside, authorities find evidence of a problem that has become far too typical.
Piece by dangerous piece, the Evansville Police Department's Meth Suppression Unit dismantles two one-pot meth labs. Meanwhile, the two men allegedly responsible for the labs, Colton Cox and Devon Craft, are put in steel cages. The investigation started in Vanderburgh County before it came through the door of the Posey County home.
The 'meth next door' is a widespread problem that warrants a widespread response.
Earlier in the day, detectives took their investigation on the road. State Road 66 takes them out of Vanderburgh County and out of their jurisdiction. But enforcement has no boundaries thanks to cooperation with other agencies.
"It's huge," said EPD Sgt. Detective Dave Barron. "Because we're a small county in terms of square mileage. It doesn't take any time. There's a lot of crossover between the counties."
Using information gathered from surveillance and confidential informants, detectives stage their search for Craft and Cox, the two men believed to be manufacturing meth. It will be a combined effort to cap off an investigation spanning across two counties.
"[Posey County authorities] get a lot of Evansville people here," Sgt. Det. Barron said. "We get a lot of Posey county people in our county. Either we know them, they know them or we both know them."
Dismantling meth labs and enforcing the law can be a demanding job, a dangerous job and a downright difficult job. These detectives are always on call and always on duty. Between the midnight calls and marathon days, it's taxing on these detectives and their loved ones.
"[My wife] knows we make entries sometimes," Sgt. Det. Barron said. "She knows I deal with things that can blow up. I just don't go into a lot of detail on it. It's almost like I don't want to bring that trash into my house. I don't want her to worry more than she already does."
The raid on the house on Country Homes Drive will require detectives from Evansville Police, deputies from Vanderburgh County and Posey County and even state troopers. But most importantly, detectives say, the raid will require coordination and a warrant. Before they can hammer down the door, they hammer out the details.
After laying out a plan of attack, authorities loaded their weapons and strapped on their bulletproof vests.
The warrant is signed and sealed and the message is about to be delivered.
Authorities stormed the house from all sides and quickly corralled the two suspects. Once they made entry, they found two one-pot meth labs that had just been used minutes before the execution of the search warrant. Furthermore, authorities found a number of precursors commonly associated with the manufacturing of methamphetamine.
Cox and craft now sit in the Posey County jail facing a long list of meth-related charges. Just a few years ago, they graduated high school
It takes cooperation between partners to dismantle a meth lab and sometimes it takes cooperation between agencies to investigate one.
Whether it's Vanderburgh County, Posey County or somewhere in between, the Methbusters meet this widespread problem with a widespread response, day in and day out.
If you suspect meth activity in your neighborhood, here is everything you need to know. It's anonymous and easy to do. You can call EPD's Meth Suppression Unit at 812-436-7917. You can send tips to the Meth Suppression Unit by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
In the last six months, much has changed on the state level when it comes to combating meth. Legislators recently passed Senate Bill 496 which places more stringent caps on how much pseudoephedrine you can buy. Pseudoephedrine is the key ingredient in making meth. The legislation allows Hoosiers to only buy 8 months worth of pseudoephedrine each year. To get more, you need a prescription. Another key provision in the bill is that people cannot buy pseudoephedrine without a prescription if they have been convicted of a meth-related offense in the past seven years. If they are found in possession of pseudoephedrine, it could result in a Class D felony.