Portable drug lab threat
THE North’s drug addicts are making portable amphetamine labs for personal use, indicating a major surge in the number of dangerous clandestine labs operating in the region.
The revelation comes after police uncovered three clandestine labs at the weekend, including one in the boot of a car and another i n a backpack.
Nor t h e r n Re g i o n Dr u g Squad officer-in-charge De- tective acting Senior Sergeant Brad Phelps said the first lab was found in a vehicle near Brandon on Saturday afternoon.
S e n - S g t P h e l p s s a i d a 26-year-old woman was assisting police with their investigation but no one had been charged over the find.
Another lab was found at a house in Queens Rd in Hermit Park during a raid on Saturday night.
A 26-year-old man was arrested and charged with several offences, including production of methylamphetamines and possession of items used to produce the drug.
It’s obviously becoming a major problem for police due to the dangers involved in the production of these dangerous drugs
laboratories uncovered in a weekend.’’
Sen-Sgt Phelps said smaller portable labs were becoming more common as addicts began to produce their own to feed their habit.
‘‘ With all the restrictions that have been imposed on the purchase of precursor substances such as pseudoephedrine-based medication, drug addicts are turning to small, portable labs for personal production,’’ he said.
‘‘ They’re generally making ( drugs) instead of trying to spend their money buying it.
‘‘ The large commercial setups are becoming less frequent in a regional sort of area ( like Townsville).’’
Sen-Sgt Phelps said the trend meant drug addicts were effectively carrying around bombs.
‘‘ They’re highly set-ups,’’ he said.
‘‘ It’s obviously becoming a major problem for police due to the dangers involved in t he p r o d uct i o n o f t hes e dangerous drugs.
‘‘ These laboratories use ext r e me l y f l a mma b l e a n d poisonous chemicals and are a hazard.’’
Anyone with information a b o u t c l a n d e s t i n e l a b s should call Townsville police on 4759 9777 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.