Lowndes County Sheriff fears meth lab discovery will be first of many with key ingredients available over the counter

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – For the first time in nearly 10 years, the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department says it found the remnants of a meth lab.

Sheriff Eddie Hawkins says deputies found the various jars, bottles and chemicals near Robinson Road at around 8:30 a.m.

Sheriff Hawkins is concerned they will only see more now that ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, the key ingredients in meth, are available over the counter. In 2010, the Mississippi Legislature passed a bill to make those products prescription only. But in 2021, the legislature went back and repealed the bill, which went into effect on January 1, 2022.

“Now that it’s not prescription any longer and a citizen can walk into the pharmacy and sign a log and be able to obtain these key ingredients to manufacture the meth, our numbers are going to start to go up,” Sheriff Hawkins.

The Sheriff says that based on the remnants of the lab, it appears the suspects could have made several grams of methamphetamine. He says there is an ongoing investigation to find whoever was using the lab.

“We’re going to start to see meth labs again, from what we’ve already seen this morning,” he says. “We’re already seeing the remnants of meth labs here in Loudoun County.”

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