Safety and Awareness
A - Seven Very Hazardous Chemicals Found in Meth Labs
B - Glossary of Methamphetamine Terms
C - Warrantless Search Following Fire. - Law Enforcement Use only!
D - Obtaining a Search Warrant - Law Enforcement Use only!
E - Executing a Search Warrant - Law Enforcement Use only!
F - Pertinent Questions to Ask in a Meth Lab Investigation - Law Enforcement Use only!
G - Items Commonly Found at Meth Labs
Graph 1 - Binge Pattern of Abuse Cycle
Graph 2 - High-Intensity Pattern of Abuse Cycle
There are several different methods by which to manufacture methamphetamine. One process, which police had become familiar with was that which produced dl-Methamphetamine. Officers were instructed that the manufacturing process could be detected by the strong "cat urine" odor produced by this synthesis. This method, popular among outlaw motorcycle gangs, was a very involved process which required many chemicals, a fairly elaborate "laboratory" and about two to three days to manufacture. What is more, the dl-methamphetamine produced in these labs could not be ingested by smoking, which limited its appeal. According to DEA statistics, these labs account for less than 2 percent of all clandestine laboratory seizures nationwide.
Two methods of synthesis are most popular today produce d-Methamphetamine. This variety is at least twice as potent as dl-Methamphetamine and is much simpler to make, utilizing commercially available ingredients. These ingredients are often available locally without restriction. The two main "recipes" police encounter are termed as follows.
1. Ephedrine Reduction/ Anhydrous Ammonia/Lithium Metal synthesis
2. Ephedrine Reduction/Red Phosphorus/Iodine Crystal synthesis
Of these two main synthesis (or recipes), there are at least 160 variations. Officers investigating
clandestine labs will see a variety of ingredients and apparatus used. One constant is the use of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. The conversion of ephedrine/pseudoephedrine to methamphetamine is accomplished by taking an oxygen molecule away from the ephedrine/pseudoephedrine and replacing it with a hydrogen molecule. This molecule swap is done by virtue of a chemical reaction using anhydrous ammonia and lithium metal (or sodium metal) or red phosphorus and iodine crystals. The synthesis using anhydrous ammonia is referred to on the street as "Nazi Dope" and that method using red phosphorus is called "Red-P".
Both of these recipes can produce methamphetamine, which is very pure and can be ingested orally, inhaled (snorted), smoked or injected. The length of time required to produce a batch of . meth is minimal and the entire process is highly mobile making detection and apprehension more difficult. The high produced by d-Methamphetamine is intense and generates a strong psychological addiction. The initial euphoria can last up to 30 minutes with a subsequent "high" which can last 18-24 hours. It is not uncommon for persons using meth to stay up for (on the average) two weeks at a time chasing that initial euphoria. After about two weeks with no sleep, the user's body can no longer support the "high" and no matter how much meth they ingest, they can no longer get high. The body is simply telling the user it needs rest. This phase, called the "tweaking phase" can last for up to 24 hours and the meth user is very irritable, miserable and prone to violence. Once this phase passes, the user will "crash" from anywhere from 1-3 days. This sleep will not be interrupted for even human essentials such as urination and defecation.
Once the person awakes, if they are a "binge" abuser, they will avoid meth for 30-45 days or more, but in a brief period of time, the psychological addiction will draw them back. If they are a high intensity abuser, they will awake from their three day "nap" and begin using meth immediately. Some high intensity pattern abusers report sleeping only one to two days per month.
The experience of the DEA Springfield, Illinois Resident Office in dealing with methamphetamine minors trends and patterns observed nationwide. Essentially, methamphetamine manufacture is limited initially, but soon authorities are overwhelmed with the number of clandestine labs they are forced to deal with. The rapid, intense proliferation of clandestine methamphetamine laboratories is perhaps due to addictive qualities and the fact it is very simple to produce. Consider that in FY97, the DEA Springfield RO seized only one methamphetamine laboratory. In the following fiscal year, 48 such labs were seized. During the 1999 fiscal year, the number of labs increased dramatically. This, of course, denotes lab seizures, and not labs agents were aware of but were still in the process of establishing probable cause to effect seizure and make arrests.
The initial onslaught of methamphetamine into the central district of Illinois saw the Quincy/ Adams County area hit very hard. Soon, the location of labs branched eastward and many "hot spots" were seen. As of the conclusion of calender year 1999, there were few counties in central Illinois which had not had a seizure of a meth lab by authorities. Most counties had experienced the seizure of several labs, often loosely connected by "cooks" teaching others and/or persons acquiring precursors for several different labs at a time.
Saftety and Awareness
I. EFFECTS OF D-METHAMPHETAMINE
A. CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM STIMULANT
B. EFFECTS OF METH vs. CRACK COCAINE
II. PATTERNS OF ABUSE
A. LOW INTENSITY
B. BINGE PATTERN ABUSER
C. HIGH INTENSITY
III. ABUSE INDICATORS
A. WEIGHT LOSS
B. CENTRAL PALLOR
D. BODY ODOR
E. BAD TEETH
F. SCARS/OPEN SORES ON SKIN (CRANK BUGS)
IV. SAFETY TIPS FOR DEALING WITH TWEAKERS
A. MAINTAIN A SOCIAL DISTANCE
B. DO NOT SHINE BRIGHT LIGHTS AT HIM/HER
C. SLOW YOUR SPEECH AND LOWER THE PITCH OF YOUR VOICE
D. SLOW YOUR MOVEMENTS
E. KEEP YOUR HANDS VISIBLE
F. KEEP THE TWEAKER TALKING
V. MANUFACTURE OF
A. SEPARATION (OF PILLS)
(Nazi Dope = Anhydrous Ammonia and Lithium (or Sodium) Metal) (Red- P = Red Phosphorus and Iodine Crystals)
* The manufacture of d-methamphetamine using either the Nazi Dope or Red-P process is essentially the same except for the ingredients used to cause the reaction, i.e., anhydrous ammonia and lithium metal or red phosphorus and iodine crystals.
VI. INGREDIENTS AND APPARATUS
I. GRIND TABLETS AND SEPARATE
2. SOAK TABLETS WHOLE AND SEP ARA TE
3. GRIND TABLETS AND USE IN ENTIRETY
DANGERS: Unless the "cook" is using a flammable solvent and evaporates the solvent used to separate the pure ephedrine/pseudoephedrine from the tablet binder material with a source using an open flame, dangers are minimal.
B. ANHYDROUS AMMONIA
I. STOLEN FROM EITHER MAIN OR NURSE T ANKS
2. PLACED IN A VARIETY OF VESSELS
(Vessels have ranged from buckets, LP tanks, Coleman drink coolers, fire extinguishers, air compressor tanks, etc. )
DANGERS: Anhydrous ammonia poses many hazards, especially when placed in improper vessels and handled/transported by persons unfamiliar with the dangers. Anhydrous ammonia has a boiling point of -28 degrees below zero. When a vessel containing anhydrous ammonia is moved, the anhydrous ammonia will reach its boiling point and pressurize. This pressurization can cause vessels to violently rupture, or if the vessel pressurizes and does not rupture, the opening of a container of anhydrous ammonia can cause RAPID, VIOLENT depressurization.
C. LITHIUM METAL/SODIUM METAL
I. TAKEN FROM LITHIUM PHOTO BATTERIES
2. SODIUM METAL ORDERED FROM CHEMICAL SUPPLY HOUSES
DANGERS: Sodium/Lithium metal is HIGHLY water reactive and will burn or explode if it comes into contact with water. Because of the moisture in your skin, it will burn exposed flesh. Both metals will even degrade when exposed to atmospheric moisture. That is why clan lab operators store lithium/sodium metal in solvent prior to use.
D. RED PHOSPHORUS
1. ORDERED FROM CHEMICAL SUPPLY HOUSES
2. CAN BE RETRIEVED FROM MATCHBOOK STRIKE P ADS OR FUSES (ROAD FLARES)
DANGERS: When heated, red phosphorus emits phosphine gas which is odorless and tasteless. Phosphine gas is deadly as it can overcome the victim without any warning.
Note: While used primarily in the Western United States, some clan lab operators use HYPOPHOSPHORUS ACID in place of red phosphorus. Hypophosphorus acid is a colorless oily liquid that emits a sour odor. There is an extreme fire and explosion hazard if the acid comes into contact with a solvent such as acetone, toluene or Coleman fuel. Hypophosphorus acid will also emit phosphine gas and the fumes can ignite.
E. IODINE CRYSTALS
Liquid iodine 7% tinctured
I. VETERINARY SUPPLY SOURCES
2. HARDWARE STORES
DANGERS: Iodine crystals are poisonous and the vapors are harmful.
F. EXTRACTION SOLVENTS
I. COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE
2. TYPES OF SOLVENTS COMMONLY USED*:
a. Ether (Starting Fluid)
b. Coleman Fuel
c. Mineral Spirits
* Not an all-inclusive.list
DANGERS: All solvents are flammable. Ether is particularly hazardous as it can cause both fire and explosion. It is said that a quart of ether can "level" a small house.
G. HYDROGEN CHLORIDE GAS
1. COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE
2. MADE BY MIXING SULFURIC ACID AND SAL T
3. MURIATIC ACID (HYDROGEN CHLORIDE GAS SUSPENDED IN WATER)
DANGERS: Hydrogen Chloride Gas (HCL) can be seen as a pale white smoke. It is a poisonous gas that can cause respiratory problems and death.
VII. CLANDESTINE LABORATORY EVIDENCE
1. Empty/full boxes or bottles from tablets containing ephedrine/pseudoephedrine, blister packs full or empty in trash, Corningware type glassware with powder residue, stir spoons, spatulas, coffee filters (stained or with actual tablet waste material present), blenders, spice grinders, food processors, etc.
B. Anhydrous Ammonia
I. Full containers (CAUTION!!!): vessels exhibiting heavy coatings of frost on the exterior, sweating visible on the exterior of the vessel, strong odor of ammonia.
2. Empty containers: vessels may still exhibit "sweating" if recently used, strong odor of ammonia.
3. If LP tanks are used, brass fittings will exhibit a bluish-green discoloration. Hoses and fittings may be present for the stealing of anhydrous ammonia and if brass fittings are present, discoloration will be present "as noted above. Some anhydrous thieves may use heavy "work- type" gloves, protective goggles and a respirator of some sort.
C. Lithium metal
1. If whole batteries are not present, officers may find remnants of stripped batteries, i.e., battery hulls, interior elements of batteries, battery cards, etc. Pliers and gloves used to strip batteries may be found.
D. Red Phosphorus
1. Vessels from chemical supply houses, Tupperware, plastic bags, etc. containing red phosphorus. Stained coffee filters or filters containing actual red phosphorus.
E. Iodine Crystals
1. Small two ounce containers, large glass containers from supply houses, bottles of 7% tinctured iodine used to make (homemade) iodine crystals.
F. Extraction Solvents
1. Starting fluid (ether) may be observed in cans, or empty cans will be found that are "keyholed". Often cans are incinerated after the ether is removed. Other solvents may be observed in one quart or one gallon cans. It is not unusual for these containers to be incinerated after they are emptied. In association with the extraction portion of this process, coffee filters saturated in liquid smelling like the extraction solvent used may be found.
G. Hydrogen Chloride Gas
I. Since the majority of lab operators prefer to make their own hydrogen chloride gas by mixing sulfuric acid and salt (iodized, rock, or safety salt), full and empty containers of those items may be found. Bottles for drain cleaners containing or once containing sulfuric acid may be present and it is not uncommon to find several containers of iodized (table) salt in one location. The hydrogen chloride gas generators discovered can be any type of vessel which can be sealed and have a hose (usually aquarium tubing) inserted into it. If the "cook" is using muriatic acid, containers may be found at the lab site.
A - SEVEN VERY HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS ARE FOUND IN METH LABS
1. Sodium/lithium metal -react violently with water and can cause explosion, fire and severe
burns. Do not use water or CO2 extinguishers to put out fires! Soda ash and lime may be used. Sodium metal can be purchased in one pound cylinders and are stored in kerosene. Lithium metal is extracted from lithium batteries.
2. Anhydrous ammonia -is stored at 44 degrees below zero. A mixture of ammonia and air (between 15 and 28%) will explode. Inhalation of concentrated ammonia vapors will cause
burns, respiratory distress and even death. Anhydrous ammonia is available commercially in a variety of cylinders. In Illinois, meth cooks access anhydrous ammonia from tanks at farm service businesses or from "nurse tanks".
3. Ethyl ether -an extremely flammable and explosive solvent! Concentrated vapors can cause a tremendous explosion with a spark or flame. These fumes can cause respiratory distress and death. Ether is typically found in labs in aerosol cans (starting fluid). Ether can also be found in one liter metal cans or even 55 gallon barrels.
4. HCL gas -an extremely explosive gas! It can cause severe bums to the throat and lungs as well as circulatory collapse and death. While available in compressed gas cylinders, it is found in labs in a variety of containers and is made by mixing equal amounts of sulfuric acid and salt.
5. Sulfuric acid -extremely corrosive and can cause severe burns from contact.
6. Muriatic acid or Hydrochloric acid -are extremely corrosive acids! They can cause severe bums to the throat and lungs. Circulatory collapse and death may occur.
7. Phosphene gas -In labs using the red phosphorus/iodine crystal method of synthesis, phosphene gas is emitted from the red phosphorus. If the red phosphorus becomes overheated, the phosphene gas can reach levels which are deadly. Phosphene gas is odorless and tasteless.
For additional information, contact S/A Anthony Grootens orTFA Bruce Liebe at the DEA Springfield, Illinois Resident Office, 217/492-4504.
B - GLOSSARY OF METHAMPHETAMINE TERMS
METHAMPHETAMINE is referred to by a variety of street names, some of the more widely
used are meth, crank, crystal, crystal meth, ice, speed, etc. Listed below are some of the more common terms heard with regard to methamphetamine production.
BLISTER PACKS: The plastic/aluminum foil packaging commonly used to contain ephedrine/pseudoephedrine based tablets.
BREAKING DOWN TABLETS: The process of breaking down ephedrine/pseudoephedrine in preparation to manufacture methamphetamine. There exists some variations in this process.
1. Tablets are ground up and soaked until the ephedrine/pseudoephedrine separates from the material that holds the tablet together (binder material). Tablets may be soaked in denatured alcohol, grain alcohol, methanal, Heet (gas line anti-freeze), distilled water or even tap water.
The tablet waste material may be discarded (typically found in coffee filters or saved and used for cut).
2. Tablets may be soaked in any of the above whole and the breaking down of tablets will still occur , but will take longer .
3. Tablets may be ground and have anhydrous ammonia and lithium metal or red phosphorus/iodine (reaction) added without removing the tablet material. The result is the tablet material provides a build in cut.
BUBBLER: A hydrogen chloride gas generator.*
BUBBLER HOSE: A hose attached to the bubbler and inserted into methamphetamine suspended in an .extraction solvent (often used is a gas generator or aquarium tubing).
BUBBLING OFF: The process of using a bubbler (gas generator) to salt out the (powder out, often called snowing) the methamphetamine.*
CONVERSION: When salting out the methamphetamine:, it is converted from a base to a salt.*
COOK/COOKING: This refers to the production of methamphetamine or the person who is producing it, i.e., a meth cook.
CUT: Like cocaine, refers to material, compounds, etc., which is added to cut the meth. Agents have seen vitamin B supplements, Vitamin E, table waste (from ephedrine/pseudoephedrine), baking powder, laxatives, and even liquid wax used as cut.
EXTRACTION: After the reaction phase of the process, ephedrine/pseudoephedrine is
converted to methamphetamine base. It is then placed into an extraction solvent in preparation to being converted into salt.
EXTRACTION SOLVENT: Most common extraction solvents used are starting fluid (ether)
and Coleman Fuel, Mineral spirits, paint thinner, charcoal lighter fluid, naptha, have been used, and even gasoline or kerosene could be employed.
FILTER DOPE: The methamphetamine manufacturing process involves numerous filtrations. In the final filtration, "powdered out" meth is filtered and dried. These filters can be saved and the moisture (methamphetamine) squeezed out into a bowl and heated in an oven or microwaved until it forms a crusty powder. This is meth and generally produces a couple of hits. lf the filters are permitted to dry, they are simply wetteded and the meth squeezed out as described above.
GAS GENERA TOR: A container in which sulfuric acid and salt is combined to create hydrogen chloride gas to salt out the meth. A hose is run from the container and placed in the meth suspended in an extraction solvent.* Gas generators are typically made from plastic gas containers, plastic soda bottles, sports bottles, sulfuric acid containers.
GASSING OUT: The process of using a gas generator to salt out meth.*
ICE: Ice is defined as a smokeable form of methamphetamine that is 80% or better purity. The purity of d-methamphetamine made by virtue of Nazi Dope and Red-P processes, can produce meth that ranges from 90-99% pure before being "cut".
KEYHOLED: Reference to cans of starting fluid which have had holes punched in the can so
that the ether can be poured from the aerosol can. Prior to doing this the can is inverted and the spray nozzle depressed so that the pressure is released from the can.
LAYERED SOLUTION: This can be any solution discovered in a lab which has distinctly different layers.
METHAMPHETAMINE BASE: After anhydrous ammonia and lithium metal (Nazi Dope) or
red phosphorus and iodine crystal (Red-P) are added, ephedrine/pseudoephedrine is converted to . meth base and then is added to an extraction solvent in preparation to be converted to a salt.
POWDERING OUT: This refers to using a gas generator to convert the meth base to salt.*
REACTION: The reaction occurs when anhydrous ammonia and lithium metal (Nazi Dope) or red phosphorus and iodine crystals (Red-P) are added, causing a chemical reaction which changes phedrine/pseudoephedrine to methamphetamine by removing one oxygen molecule.
SALT OUT/SALTING OUT: The process of converting the meth base into a salt by using a gas generator.* (Same as snowing, powdering out, etc.)
SEPARATION : The process of separating the ephedrine/pseudo ephedrine from the tablet, binder material. (See "Breaking Down Tablets".)
SMOKING: While this typically refers to smoking meth as a form of ingestion, it has been referred to by some clan lab operators when describing the powdering out of methamphetamine. The gas generator produces hydrogen chloride gas which can be seen as a pale white smoke.*
.The majority of references about the conversion phase of the process refers, by one term or mother, to the use of a hydrogen chloride gas generator which is the preferred method. Keep in mind that muriatic acid, which is simply hydrogen chloride gas suspended in water, can be used In lieu of a gas generator. This process is slower, but the same effect is achieved. Recently, agents have found cooks placing aluminum foil in muriatic acid to expedite the delivery of hydrogen chloride gas.
INGREDIENTS USED IN THE VARIOUS STAGES
OF THE PRODUCTION ~Most commonly used essential ingredients
fleet (gas line anti-freeze)
Nazi Dope: Red-P:*
anhydrous ammonia red phosphorus (or Hypophosphorus Acid)
lithium metal iodine crystals
sodium metal tinctured iodine (7%)
potassium metal hydriodic acid
In the Red-P process, the mixture becomes acidic due to the chemicals used. To reduce the PH, lye (sodium hydroxide) is added.
THE DOPE IS IN THE FUEL!
starting fluid (ether)
Kingston Charcoal Lighter Fluid
salt -table, rock, safety
* Aluminum foil can be added to the muriatic acid to expedite the "powdering out" process. The muriatic acid and aluminum foil are placed in a gas generator, in the same fashion sulfuric acid and salt are placed in a gas generator.
** After the conversion process is complete, if the meth is off-white or perhaps even brown (from failing to extract water during the cook) acetone can be used to "wash" the meth and in essence, whiten the final product.
APPENDIX C - WARRANTLESS SEARCH FOLLOWING FIRE O.K.
Law Enforcement Use only!
United States v. Loos, 16SF3dSO4
FACTS: Quincy, Illinois firefighters responded to a fire at a residential apartment complex
where the kitchen and living room were ablaze. After their arrival, firefighters heard several explosions. Firemen discovered what they believed to be a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory in a bedroom and promptly notified arson investigators and the Quincy, Illinois Police, The responding police officer discovered cans of ether (starting fluid) and apparatus consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine. The Quincy Police Department subsequently contacted DEA who responded and seized evidence which was subsequently used to prosecute Steven Loos and Lorna Jo Taylor. The defendants pled guilty, however later appealed claiming that a warrant was necessary to permit a criminal investigation and that a chemical disposal squad other than police should have been utilized.
ISSUE: Was a search warrant required to permit police officers to conduct a search after being summoned by firefighters?
RATIONALE: The court held that a warrantless entry by police may be legal when there is a compelling need for official action and no time to secure a warrant. Where a building is ablaze, circumstances are sufficiently exigent to render a warrantless entry is reasonable. Once firefighters are in a building, they may seize anything in plain view.
Fire officials are charged with extinguishing fire and determining the cause, If a warrantless entry to put out a fire and determine its cause is constitutional, a warrantless search for evidence while inspecting the premises for these purposes is also permissible. As for the defendant's claim that the fire department should have used a chemical disposal squad other than a police agency, the court held that the defendants had no legitimate interest in deciding which public employees handle hazardous substances -the hazardous waste disposal personnel or law enforcement agents.
Source: Illinois Law Enforcement Officers Bulletin; Vol.35, Issue 9, page 68,' September 1999,
D - OBTAINING A SEARCH WARRANT FOR A METH LAB
Law Enforcement Use only!
I. Affiant's identity, status and
II. Affiant's lab experience
Ill. Investigative facts
A. Be specific
1. Be specific as to times, dates, places, sources of information and so forth. Set forth all
the facts known to the affiant and give as much detail as possible.
B. Identify your sources
1. The source of the facts must be identified in the affidavit. Consider the following
a. The violator was seen leaving the supposed lab site.
b. The records of the ABC Chemical Company were reviewed and contained invoices
to the suspect's home.
2. Ask yourself: Who saw the violator leave? Who reviewed the chemical company's records? These sentences do not tell you. Statements like these are worthless for establishing probable cause. You must show the source for all information. Consider the following sentences:
a. On 01-15-99, I observed the violator exit the lab, located at 123 Second Street, Springfield, Illinois.
b. On 01-10-99, Special Agent William Brown reviewed the records of the ABC Chemical Company and observed the records to contain invoices for precursor chemicals which were shipped to the suspects residence located at 123 Second Street, Springfield, Illinois.
C. Establishing probable cause
The facts and circumstances must include:
1. Evidence that the suspect received certain chemicals and equipment. This can be shown by:
a. Officer surveillance
b. Informant's statements
c. Acquisition of essential ingredients by the suspect
d. Business records of suppliers ( e.g. delivery records, invoices, canceled checks, etc.) or receipts for purchase of essential ingredients obtained from the target's trash
e. Statements of supplier's (or store) employees
2. Evidence that the chemicals are at the search site. The evidence noted above can
also be used to establish this element. If it does not, you must include evidence that. the chemicals and equipment are probably at the site to be searched.
3. Evidence that the suspects have no legitimate need for these items. Consider the following:
a. While most elements used to manufacture methamphetamine are legally available and have legitimate applications, you must show that the suspects possesses these items in quantities or uses them in applications that are not of normal use/consumption ( e.g. purchase of hundreds/thousands of pseudoephedrine tablets at one time or in a very short period; possession of .anhydrous ammonia by persons not engaged in farming; purchasing numerous lithium batteries; purchasing numerous cans of starting fluid or having empty keyholed cans of starting fluid, frequent purchases of sulfuric acid, etc.).
b. If the suspect is obtaining chemicals from a chemical supply company, is he/she using a false name or fictitious business? A check of state and county records may illustrate the business is a "dummy business".
c. Trash searches- The trash may contain evidence of manufacturing such as broken glassware, items with chemical residues, coffee filters containing chemicals and/or tablet waste material, remnants of stripped lithium batteries, discarded tubing and gas generators, receipts, etc.
4. Suspect's history -Although not required, the suspect's personal background may. provide some proof of a manufacturing violation, particularly if:
a. The suspect(s) have prior convictions for drug violations, especially for manufacturing.
b. The suspect is a chemist or has had significant training in chemistry .With methamphetamine laboratories, suspects frequently purchase general chemistry handbooks or order books on how to manufacture methamphetamine from ads in sources such as High Times .
c. Expert conclusions -In addition to having the expert state the chemicals can be used to manufacture a controlled substance it may be desirable (but not essential) to include his opinion on:
(1.) Legitimate uses -if there is a legitimate use, what quantities might be used. For example, the normal person does not purchase hundreds/thousands of pseudoephedrine tablets at one time or in a short time frame.
(2. ) End product -from the chemicals acquired, how much product could be derived?
(3.) Manufacturing time -How much time needed to complete one manufacturing cycle.
(4.) Special needs -Does the process require special needs such as large amounts of water, electricity, or any special characteristic such as odors or by-products, i.e., things you can corroborate.
(5.) Dangerous chemicals -Ask what chemicals pose a danger to the residence or neighbors and how much danger. What kind, i.e., fire, explosion, etc.
D. Items to be seized
Describe items to be seized in detail. Include the following:
I. The controlled substance being manufactured. 2. The chemicals and other raw materials.
3. The equipment used to manufacture the controlled substance. 4. Paraphernalia used to package and distribute.
5. Formulas, books or records relating to manufacturing and distribution. (In methamphetamine cases, receipts for the purchase of essential ingredients are very important. ).
6. Articles of personal property tending to show the identity of those having control of the property .Bills such as those from utility companies are very useful in establishing "proof of residency".
E - EXECUTING A SEARCH W ARRANT AT A METHAMPHETAMINE LABORATORY
Law Enforcement Use only!
I. To KNOWINGLY execute a warrant at a meth lab, you need to utilize personnel certified in
clan lab safety and investigation (DEA or DEA lab certified personnel.)
B. Notify DEA
1. Provide assistance in developing your case/obtaining search warrant
2. Disassemble lab
3. Take evidence samples (specific apparatus and evidence containers are utilized)
4. Facilitate disposal of chemicals, apparatus and waste
II. Operations Planning
A. First consideration -Operational Security
1. Limit knowledge of operation to those who need to know
2. Ensures your operation will not be compromised
3. Enhances officer safety and success of operation
B. Develop a plan with contingencies
1. Plan for "failure", not success
2. If upon arrival at the location of warrant execution, if "Plan A " is not going to work, have a pre-established "Plan B"
3. Have emergency plans developed for
c. Evacuation (your personnel)
4. There is no creativity under stress. You will perform as you are trained and have planned.
C. Developing your plan ( considerations
or areas/issues to address)
1. Situation -a brief paragraph of what is occurring, i.e., "John Doe is operating a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory in the basement of 123 Second Street, Springfield, lllinois.
2. Mission -What are we going to do? A brief statement of the plan.
3. Execution~ How we are going to do it.
a. Plan with contingencies (plan A/plan B, differing points of entry)
b. Describe specific roles/responsibilities
4. Administration and Logistics
a. Equipment requirements
b. Radio frequencies
c. Support services (EMS, fire)
5. Command and Control
a. Who is in charge (includes chain of command)
b. Who makes the "calls", i.e., execute/abort warrant service, etc.
NOTE: In the case of a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory, the Site Safety .Officer (a lab certified agent) retains overall authority for the operation.
III. Warrant Execution
A. For the most part, the tactics used to execute a warrant in a lab environment are no different, except:
1. Do not use diversionary devices
2. Consider that if you fire your weapon in an ether saturated environment, a flash over is possible!
B. Wear protective apparel
1. Eye protection
2. Nomex hoods
3. Nomex gloves
4. If possible, total nomex attire is preferred
C. Main difference from other warrants
1. Secure suspects inside and remove them from dwelling
2. Prior to leaving the dwelling, ventilate!
3. Before transporting any suspects, they may have to be decontaminated. The Site Safety Officer will make this determination.
D. Standard tactics do not differ!
I. Don't move faster than you can accurately shoot
2. Don't hang-up in doorways ( or any other "fatal funner')
3. Never enter a room alone
4. Clear your comers
IV .Operating in a Lab Environment
A. SAFETY FIRST/EVIDENCE SECOND
B. Do not smell things directly
C. If you open a container:
I. Don't stand directly over it
2. Don't open it in confined spaces
3. Be upwind
D. Do not contact substances with bare skin! Wear protective gloves.
- SOME PERTINENT QUESTIONS TO ASK IN A METH LAB INVESTIGATION
Law Enforcement Use only!
I. Meth "cook"
-When did you start producing meth (date)? -How often did you cook?
-When was your last cook?
-How much finished product per cook?
-What was your source of ingredients? ( Persons, stores, where they were stealing anhydrous,
-Who assisted you (with cooks or acquisition of precursors)? -Who did you sell to?/Who sold for you?
-Ifhe or she agrees (most do), have the cook describe their process step by step. This is
obviously beneficial to the investigation and also aids in learning the variations used to produce meth.
II. Witness/Co-defendant/Source of Information
-How do you know the defendant?
-How long have you known the defendant? -How long has he/she been cooking?
-Have you witnessed/assisted meth production?
-Have you acquired ingredients for the defendant? Where? How much? How often?
-Have you purchased meth from the defendant? How often? How much? Cost? Firstllast
G - ITEMS COMMONLY FOUND AT D-METH CLAN-LABS
|Coffee Filters||Filter at various stages of process (Large number)||Waste filters, stained or containing chunky powder (tablet material)|
|Ephedrine/Pseudoephedrine||Bottles and/or boxes blister packs||Empty bottles, boxes, blister packs in trash or burn barrels|
|Propane Tanks, Igloo Coolers File Extinguishers||Acquire, store, anhydrous ammonia||Tarnishing of brass fittings containers with strong residual, ammonia odors|
|Starting Fluid Cans||Source of ether for extraction||Discarded cans with holes punctured (keyholed) in the sides or bottom|
|Lithium Batteries||Whole batteries, lithium metal removed from batteries and suspended in solvent||Empty battery hulls, interior remnants from batteries, display cards|
|Red Phosphorus||Original containers, tupperware, plastic bags||Brown stained coffee filters|
|Iodine Crystals||Two ounce containers||Empty containers|
|7% Tinctured Iodine||Full bottles||Empty bottles in trash|
|Sulfuric Acid||Full, partially/full containers of drain opener||Empty containers in trash|
|Salt||Full/partially full containers of iodized salt, rock salt,safety salt||Empty containers in trash,piles of salt dumped on property|
|Muriatic Acid||Full/partially full containers||Empty container in trash|
|Hydrogen Chloride Gas Generators||Empty generators prepared for use||Generators containing sulfuric acid and salt or containing salt only. If 20 oz soft drink bottles in trash or burn barrel|
|Mason Jars/ Glassware||Numerous glass vessels||Vessels displaying powder residue|
|Baking Dishes (Corningware, etc.)||Clean bakeware, possibly near lab setup||Bakeware displaying powder residue|
|Plastic Tubing||Clear plastic tubing in rolls or cut to length||Hoses displaying residue or discoloration|
|Glass Coffee Pots||Clean||Reddish-brown staining on bottom of pot|
Figure 3. Binge Pattern of Abuse Cycle
Figure 4. High-Intensity Pattern of Abuse Cycle. The high-intensity abuse pattern does not usually include a state of normalcy or withdrawal as seen in the binge pattern of abuse.