DELAWARE COUNTY, Ind. -- Indiana State Police meth suppression teams are actively searching for mobile meth labs discarded along the side of the road.
Last week, teams found 15 one-pot labs along with syringes and other paraphernalia in just one day in ditches and nearby cornfields. Each time the team finds a lab, they must put on full protective gear to test what's inside the bottles and dismantle the lab.
On Monday, teams showed CBS4 how easy it is to find a meth lab along the side of the road. Teams found a lab within about 10 minutes. A bag was sitting along a rural Delaware County field. The bag was tied shut and inside, teams found a plastic bottle with meth residue, used lithium batteries, a salt container, rubber band and coffee filters. Troopers said these materials are involved in the production of the most common forms of mobile meth labs.
"We know what certain areas to look for, especially in Delaware County because they have so many. We just hit the same spots and very rarely do we not find something," said trooper Kyle West.
Last year, state police reported finding about 150 meth labs in the City of Muncie, alone. Teams are working to make sure they clean-up meth trash before anyone gets hurt.
"Normally we get called because citizens or farmers out cutting their fields or boy scouts or church groups out clean up along the roadway this time of year. It’s warming up, usually they’ll find the stuff and call us," an undercover officer said.
If you see a trash bag or bottle along the side of the road, troopers want to make sure you know what you look for, so you can keep you and your children from getting hurt.
"The first thing you’re going to notice is the smell. You’ll have an incredible smell of ammonia," explained Trooper West. "You’ll see sludge in the bottle. You’ll see black flakes. It won’t look anything like a normal Mountain Dew bottle or whatever."
If you see a plastic bag, the best thing to do is call 911. Don't try to open it or get near it. Police will respond and figure out what's inside.