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Task Force Gains New Equipment


The Lee County Narcotics Task Force has gained some new tools in its fight against the spread of methamphetamine in the tri-state region.

According to Task Force Commander Stacy Weber, methamphetamine remains a serious problem locally.

"We are addressing it on every avenue we know how," said Weber.  "Whether it be with our response with enforcement (or) our response with education."

Weber said Lee County has ranked at the top of the list, in recent years, when it comes to meth lab seizures in Iowa.  He said due to that, the DEA has provided the county access to one of its "meth pods" through a state partnership.

"Basically, what they are doing is telling us 'Hey Lee County, we got your back,'" said Weber.  "We, (the DEA), are going to cover the fees for your meth lab clean-ups now so it is not on just Lee County's taxpayers' backs."

The "meth pod" is a large vault where hazardous materials collected during the clean-up of a lab can be safely stored.  There are five in Iowa at this point.

Weber said the task force has also received a clean-up response trailer, which is valued at about $28,000.

"Everything we do is expensive and ultimately, it lands on the taxpayers," said Weber.  "But in this case, it will no longer be just a burden to the Lee County taxpayers, it will be spread out across the country."

Weber said the training on the new equipment should be completed soon, so it can be used in February.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.