BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Donna McCollum - email
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Something as harmless as a plastic bottle is now used in the latest method for cooking up meth.
"It's called shake and bake," said Dr. George Franks, an SFA criminology professor. "You put the chemicals in, you activate and then you just let it do its work and it produces."
Law enforcement know the cooker can go anywhere with a potential explosive and, when they're through, toss it in a dumpster, along roadsides or even in parks.
"Not only could it ignite, but these chemicals that are inside are very toxic and just opening up that bottle and taking a whiff could be very lethal," Sheriff Thomas Kerss said.
Routinely, the shake and bake meth user has little regard who finds the residue left behind, even if it's a child.
"The first thing I thought of, is we have so many student organizations and churches that pick up adopt a highway stretches and that's the ones you worry about, innocently coming along, trying to do a good deed and finding something like this," Franks said.
This is what you could see: A small to large drink bottle, possibly distorted. The lid is on, to hold dangerous chemicals. The liquid may be clear with a charcoal substance or dark.
"In this bottle we just tried to simulate something," Kerss said. "What may appear to be a muddy colored liquid in a bottle may very well be a meth mixture."
The user knows what can happen. The concern is when it's found by those who don't.
So far, the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Department hasn't found any evidence of shake and bake meth, but they're confident it's happening in East Texas.
"We have seen coke bottles and different plastic bottles with liquid in it and most of the time we suggest to them and tell them not to poke it," said Eli Garner, supervisor of Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful. "If we see any liquid that's combustible or something like that then we ask them to check with their supervisor. "