Smaltz: Indiana meth lab busts down 35 percent in 2016

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, January 12, 2017 3:30 am

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 12, 2017) – Indiana State Police statistics indicate a 35 percent decline in statewide methamphetamine lab seizures during 2016, according to State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn).

Indiana State Police reports 943 meth lab busts occurred in Indiana, representing a 35 percent drop from the 1,452 incidents in 2015. In addition, the number of children removed from meth lab environments went down nearly half from the 291 cases in 2015. Over the past two years, child removals from Indiana meth labs declined more than 57 percent. Meth labs can easily catch fire and leave behind toxic contamination, causing costly injuries to first responders and meth cooks, while endangering innocent children and neighbors. 

“Indiana’s decline in statewide meth lab busts is a testament to the hard work of law enforcement and the success of recent reforms passed by the General Assembly to curb meth production,” Smaltz said. “As a lawmaker, one of my top priorities for years has been to reduce the number of Hoosier children exposed to meth labs to zero. Seeing this number cut almost in half in one year is a welcome sign that we are on our way to achieving that goal.”

Over the past three years, Indiana led the nation in meth lab incidents. During the 2016 session, Smaltz, along with a coalition of lawmakers, organizations and concerned Hoosiers, championed a new law to combat Indiana’s growing number of meth labs. Smaltz said the law makes purchasing large amounts of pseudoephedrine, a common decongestant as well as key ingredient used to manufacture meth, more difficult for meth cooks to obtain. The law also empowers local pharmacists to ensure law-abiding consumers maintain legitimate access to these cold medications. 

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State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) represents all of DeKalb County, and portions of Steuben and Allen counties.

A high-resolution photo of Smaltz can be downloaded by clicking here.