St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - Missouri law enforcement officials have changed their tactics in the war on meth. New figures show that the changes are having an effect.
In 2013, for the first time in a decade, Missouri did not lead the nation in meth busts. The Show-Me state dropped to number 3 behind Indiana and Tennessee. The Post-Dispatch reports that changes in enforcement approaches and new laws may have caused the statistics to drop. The Jefferson County drug task force says they focused on making larger-scale labs.
Earlier in March, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported a seizure of 95 meth labs just outside Mountain Grove, Missouri. The drug raid was believed to be a record for a single seizure in Missouri.
Authorities say dozens of people face drug or weapons charges as part of a crackdown in parts of the metro-east that the St. Clair County prosecutor says are "in a state of lawlessness."
State's Attorney Brendan Kelly says most of the more than 50 people charged are from East St. Louis, Washington Park, Alorton and Cahokia. The three-month investigation, dubbed "Operation Wild, Wild East" was funded by a federal grant overseen by Illinois State Police.
Kelly says the communities where the alleged offenses took place don't have enough policing, and that laws simply aren't being enforced.