BECKLEY, W.Va. — State Police say the results of a recent targeted law enforcement effort show meth is a growing problem in parts of central and southern West Virginia.

“It’s more widespread than we thought,” said Sgt. Michael Baylous during a Friday press conference in Beckley.

Since Oct. 26 when the effort started, Baylous said more than 30 people were arrested on charges connected to meth labs and meth dumps found in Braxton, Summers, Randolph, Raleigh, Pendleton, Greenbrier and Fayette counties.

Troopers were taken from their regular duties in Troop 3 and Troop 6 to focus on the meth cases during the month.  Those troopers followed up on tips from the public and informants and, according to the investigating officers, most of those charged were making meth for their personal use.

“What we’re seeing a lot of today is the one pot method.  It’s simplified.  All your ingredients can fit inside a bookbag,” said Trooper L.W. Price.  “Generally, they’re kept in residences, the components are.  However, once we started getting a lot of information, a lot of people were getting scared, putting them in bookbags and hiding them out in the woods.”

The arrests lead to 75 total felony charges.  In addition to meth, troopers said heroin, marijuana and cash were also recovered.

Last year, state lawmakers passed a law to further limit purchases of pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in meth, to try to cut down on the number of meth labs.  Sales of medications containing pseudoephedrine are electronically tracked throughout West Virginia.

When the 2014 Regular Legislative Session begins in January, lawmakers are expected to take up possible legislation that would require prescriptions for those medications, though industry officials are fighting such a move.

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  • Tim C

    Meth is is rampant! We can't stop it. You can't tell me a dozen troopers will even make a dent. I appreciate their effort but it is all in vain. The disintegration of the family unit is the largest cause and until that is fixed nothing will change.

  • think about it

    They need to learn to rehabilitate instead of incarnate, there's no real treatment programs in wva. U get more prison time for a meth charge the a sex crime no a days

    • GregG

      Well I "thought about it" and I disagree. No one held a gun to their head and forced them to use meth. So why spend my tax dollars on rehabilitation? As far as I'm concerned we should bring back the death penalty and "cook" these drug addicts that are endangering everyone else. Maybe if some of them were fried their little buddies would suddenly be "rehabilitated".

  • WV Hillbilly

    I sure wish Metro News reporters could learn the geography of WV. How is Pendleton County in "Central or Southern" WV????

  • GregG

    The sad part is, after all the work the troopers have done our sorry excuse for a court system will turn this scum back into the public before the ink dries on the troopers paperwork. Of those arrested I would love to know how many are already back home cooking again.

    • Joe

      Agree 100% Greg.