Por­ta­ble drug lab threat

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Nathan Paull nathan. paull@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

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.

ex­plo­sive

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