Agents with the state's Department of Justice Division of Narcotics Enforcement say there has been an increase in methamphetamine related activity in North-Central Wisconsin.
"In the past week we've had five meth-related incidents that our agency has responded to in the central Wisconsin area," said Special Agent David Forsythe, "including Marathon County up to Vilas County and up to Taylor County."
Forsythe said the increase in the number of meth labs in northcentral Wisconsin is leaving behind hazardous by-products in area woods and other public areas.
Forsythe says they have received reports of discarded propane tanks, filled with anhydrous ammonia, being dumped in the woods. Anhydrous ammonia is commonly used in fertilizer, and is illegally stored in propane tanks to manufacture meth. These tanks can explode on contact, and with gun-deer season scheduled to start Nov. 23, this places hunters in danger.
"Our concern is that some young, new hunter or anyone that's out there is going to see a tank, kinda kick it over see what it is, and these things can kind of become a torpedo and just go shooting off," said Forsythe. "[It] could easily take somebody's head off, easily could kill somebody."
The valves on these propane tanks turn blue from the corrosive effects of the anhydrous ammonia. People who suspect a meth lab or dump in their area, are urged not to go near it. Authorities say to call local law enforcement right away, or contact the DOJ-DNE Drug Tip-Line at 1(800) 622-3784
wsaw.com: Extended Web Coverage
Fast Facts About Meth
Many people may be unaware that they're living near a meth lab. Here are some things to look for:
Source: www.kci.org [Koch Crime Institute]