ASHTABULA, OHIO: Authorities say a requirement that people produce identification when they buy some over-the-counter cold medications helped launch a large raid of meth labs in northeastern Ohio.
The Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office said 43 people were arrested Wednesday and methamphetamine manufacturing labs were found in five homes in the county, which is on Lake Erie east of Cleveland. Others are being sought.
The main precursor in methamphetamine is pseudoephedrine, and pharmacies record and track buyers of over-the-counter cold medications containing it. WEWS-TV reports that the database helped launched the nine-month investigation that culminated in Wednesday’s raids.
Police say making the illegal drug has gotten easier, with plastic soda bottles and various store-bought chemicals.