In the early 2000s, meth lab seizures were a weekly occurrence for the Springfield Police Department. But in recent years, the number has dropped to nearly nothing.
Earlier this week, a fire that investigators suspect was arson broke out in the 2200 block of Delaware Avenue. And while a TV report stated that the house was a meth lab, Springfield Fire Chief David Pennington said that is not true.
“There is no indication of illegal drug activity, reports to the contrary would be incorrect,” Pennington said.
In fact, according to data from the Springfield Police Department, in the last three years only one meth lab has been busted in Springfield. And so far, none have been found this year.
In 2011, at the peak of the at-home-meth-making era, police in Springfield busted more than 100 meth labs, but that number has been on a steady decline.
In 2015, there were 16 meth labs seized by police. That went down to eight the next year, then two. And in 2020, there were zero found.
Officials have attributed the decline to the fact that the production of meth has moved south to Mexico, where it can be made cheaper and more potent in super labs and then brought into the United States.
However, meth is still an issue in the Springfield area as dozens of pounds of the drug are seized by the department every year.
According to the Springfield Police Department’s 2021 annual report, the department seized roughly 844 ounces of meth last year, or around 52 pounds.
Jordan Meier covers public safety for the Springfield News-Leader. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @Jordan_Meier644.
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Springfield police say they've found only one meth lab in 3 years