West Virginia State Police offer tips on recognizing a meth lab - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

West Virginia State Police offer tips on recognizing a meth lab

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SOUTH CHARLESTON, West Virginia -

Tuesday West Virginia State Police executed a search warrant at a mobile home in Winfield. Three people were arrested and are facing various methamphetamine related charges.

The home was located in a mobile home park with several other mobile homes nearby.

In many cases investigators say tips from the public can help them locate similar meth labs.

Sgt. Michael Baylous with the West Virginia State Police said there are some things you can look for if you think a neighbor might be cooking meth.

Large amounts of pseudoephedrine packages can be a warning.

"Usually what you'll see are the blister packs laying around," Sgt. Baylous said. "Also empty bottles of Coleman fuel or empty bottles of Heet."

But not all items are such obvious red flags. For example two liter or sometimes even smaller soda or water bottles are used.

Also instant cold packs are becoming a popular ingredient.

"They use cold packs and cut them up and they use what is inside them," Baylous explained.

A large number of empty battery packages are another warning sign.

"They extract the chemicals out of those," Baylous said.

Chances many of these items can be found around a typical household. Sgt. Baylous said when residents should be concerned is when they see a large quantity of the items around a neighbors house.

"If someone suspects that there is a meth lab call us and let us know," Sgt. Baylous said. "We'll go check and if there is not one there it is fine. But if there is one we need to remove that hazard from the neighborhood."

Baylous said even if you do not see any of the items a strong smell of ammonia could be a warning sign.

If you decide to call in one of these tips Sgt. Baylous said it is crucial to leave a great deal of detail.

Just an address won't do investigators much good when they try to get a search warrant.

They need to know specifically what you saw, when you saw it and how to get in contact with you if they have more questions.

The can keep your name anonymous if you ask them to do so.

You can report meth activity to your local West Virginia State Police detachment.