Sheriff: "We Have a Meth Problem"

Clinton, Anderson County (WVLT) - It's a statistic Anderson County would like to eliminate.

The Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force ranks Anderson as number one county in the state for meth lab busts.

Since January first, there have been 30 busts including one found in a stolen vehicle Thursday night.

Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt spoke with the Anderson County Sheriff about the problem.

The sheriff's department is still searching for the two people involved in the meth lab operation and they're looking for anyone else.

The sheriff says they are working very aggressively to fix the problem, and if you're out there, they'll do their best to find you.

"If people do it and we can detect it, we will find them,” says Sheriff Paul White.

The Anderson County Sheriff's Department says the meth lab found Thursday in a stolen car is the third busted this month and the 30th since January first, in 2006 there were 44.

"We have a meth problem in Anderson County. It's probably a pretty bad problem at this time,” says Sheriff White. "It's nothing for us to do 3 meth labs a week, if not more, and we have at times had 2 meth labs going at the same time on the same day."

Sheriff Paul White says low incomes and few job resources drive people to try to make an extra buck. "If you've got the materials and the people who know how to do it for about $200 you can make about $1200 worth of meth."

And residents aren't surprised.

"I think it's a really bad problem and I wish something could be done about it,” says Anderson County resident Jennifer Dawson.

But deputies say they are doing everything they can.

"We don't have enough time in a day, we don't have enough officers to handle it, it runs you to death, but it's got to be done,” says Sheriff White.

"It's very scary for the children up there,” Karen Long says even her elementary school kids talk about the meth problem. "They know there are people with those problems in their neighborhoods, so the kids are very aware, the teachers are aware."

And if you're aware of the problem, the sheriff wants to know about it. The number for Anderson County Sheriff Department’s Drug Task Force is 463-7175.

And for the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force, call 1-877-TNN-METH (1-877-866-6384).

Sheriff White says within the next two months they hope to have a drug task force that will help with man power.

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