- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) - Delaware County is leading the state by a wide margin in the number of reported methamphetamine labs through the first six months of 2015, registering 119 as of June 30 with its nearest follower, Noble County, having 35, according to Indiana State Police.

The number of reported methamphetamine labs in Delaware County has ballooned since 2010. That year seven labs were reported and a dozen labs were reported in 2011. The number jumped to 62 in 2012 and jumped again to 109 in 2013. Last year the county led the state with 148 reported meth labs, according to State Police, The (Muncie) Star Press reported (https://tspne.ws/1gfmbPy ).

The Indiana methamphetamine lab figures range from instances found of homemade meth made in volatile concoctions mixed in soda bottles to larger operations located inside homes.

Law enforcement officials in Delaware County have said meth lab statistics are at least partly a reflection of aggressive investigations. Officials say local officers and private citizens are more aware of the signs and smells associated with methamphetamine production.

Delaware County prosecutor Jeffrey Arnold and Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler also have testified before state lawmakers asking that a key ingredient in methamphetamine, the over-the-counter decongestant pseudoephedrine, be made a controlled substance.

Delaware and Noble counties are followed on the statewide list by Kosciusko and Miami counties with 29 reported labs and Tippecanoe County with 24 labs.

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Information from: The Star Press, https://www.thestarpress.com

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