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 February 8th, 2013  
Defendants in St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office meth lab arrests have been convicted so far, according to St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara
 
While most defendants in the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office's crackdown on methamphetamine labs have yet to be tried, those who have been to court so far have been convicted, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

"Since July 2012, the Sheriff's Office has shut down 13 meth labs and arrested 21 people," said Sheriff Mascara. "These clandestine labs have been set up in residential areas and constitute a clear danger to those neighborhoods throughout St. Lucie County due to the volatile nature of the chemicals involved.

"These convictions resulted from thorough and professional investigations by our detectives in cooperation with U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency investigators, combined with outstanding trial preparation by the members of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit State Attorney's Office," said Sheriff Mascara. "I want to personally thank State Attorney Bruce Colton and his team of prosecutors."

The meth lab arrests took place in the five-month period between July 23 and December 18, 2012. Detectives described all of them as amateurish "one pot" or "shake and bake" arrangements in which all the chemicals are combined in a single vessel.

"The manufacture of methamphetamine in this manner depends on the purchase of over-the-counter medications intended to treat nasal congestion, containing pseudoephedrine," Sheriff Mascara said. "That is why federal law requires retailers to keep track of who purchases these products and limits the amounts individuals can buy."

"Our detectives continue to vigorously investigate those who want to manufacture this illegal and highly addictive drug," Sheriff Mascara said. "We intend to put out of business every meth lab we can detect."

St. Lucie County Sheriff's detectives are members of the DEA's Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Team for the Treasure Coast region and have assisted as team members in two meth lab seizures in the City of Port St. Lucie and one in Indian River County, in addition to the seizures in unincorporated areas of St. Lucie County.

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