MORGAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) - Meth busts are reaching an all time high in Morgan County where the Sheriff's Department says this year could double last.
As of March, the department's made 22 busts. Last year, it was barely over 30.
"Are we catching them all? No. You know, we can slow down the process or try to slow down the process, but there ain't no way just to eliminate all of it," said narcotics officer Jimmy Markwood.
Most of the finds are "shake and bake" in "one pot bottles." With just a few materials, meth can be made in something as small as a 20 ounce soda bottle.
"It's easier for them to cook, faster for them to cook and they can just throw the stuff out on the side of the road," said Markwood.
That makes it harder to track, especially with Morgan County's rural landscape.
"It's a lot more work for the two of us. You're averaging probably anywhere from three to four hours for a meth lab so that cuts back on our work time right there," said Markwood.
And of course, extra hours mean extra expense. The sheriff's office is responsible for cleanup costs at each bust, something they say could really bite into this year's budget. However, the sheriff says he isn't worried yet about needing outside help.