Statement issued Tuesday by the Indiana State Police post in Fort Wayne:
Fort Wayne – Hunting season is now upon us in Northeast Indiana, and with that in mind, the potential exists that some deer and small game hunters may come across trash left behind by those who have manufactured methamphetamine (meth). The Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section wants to remind citizens that this trash may contain chemicals that are toxic, flammable, corrosive and acidic. The combination of these chemicals could cause an explosion, fire or burns if they come into direct contact with the skin.
Sergeant Mike Toles and Master Trooper Andy Smith, Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section, have identified some points for hunters to keep in mind.
•Meth cooks are using a variety of containers to manufacture their product. A popular container is the one and a half gallon gas can. These cans appear to be new and have been found along the roadside by unknowing people who believe that they have found a new gas can and end up with a working meth lab.
•Other items to be aware of include battery casings, Ziploc style bags, empty blister packs, and containers (pop bottles, jars, etc.) that contain a granular material. They may or may not have a tube extending out of the top depending on whether it is a hydrochloric (HCL) gas generator or a one pot reaction. Both of these are extremely hazardous.
•Be aware of any type of cylinder found in an odd place (middle of a field, ditch line, wooded area) that has a modified valve. The valve will typically be modified in some way and will have a bright blue color to it. These cylinders are used to store or transport anhydrous ammonia, which is an extremely dangerous gas when direct contact or inhalation has occurred.
•Be aware of backpacks and nylon or plastic bags found in an odd place. These bags could contain hazardous chemicals used in the meth lab process. Often meth cooks will hide these items and come back for them at a later time or date. Don’t handle or open these bags. The bags can trap toxic vapors and, when opened, will rise striking the person in the face.
If someone comes across this type of trash, DO NOT handle it. Please contact the Indiana State Police Post in Fort Wayne at (260) 432-8661 or (800) 552-0976 (Indiana only). If anyone has knowledge of meth production or activity in their area, they are asked to call the Indiana State Police Meth Tip Line at (800) 453-4756. Anonymous tips are accepted.