Feed Store Busted in Meth Lab Raid! 

Feed Store Busted in Meth Lab Raid! 
Posted by FoM on March 06, 1999 at 09:26:33 PT

   OGDEN  A commercial feed store police allege had sold enough crystal iodine for the production of $25 million worth of methamphetamine was raided by officers armed with a search warrant.
   The bust on Thursday night was led by the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force and joined by state and federal agencies. It resulted in the seizure of 60 pounds of crystal iodine or enough of the precursor ingredients to manufacture 30 pounds of methamphetamine.   Strike Force commander Wayne Tarwater said the owner of CNR Enterprises, 795 W. 24th St., was arrested, as well as his 37-year-old female partner.   Thursday's bust came as the result of a seven-month-long investigation prompted by information that alleged meth cooks were obtaining illegal quantities of the iodine at the feed store.   The store, which supplies animal food products and related items for the care of livestock, can legally sell up to 2 ounces of the iodine. The product is used in the treatment of diseased hooves, such as when horses get an infection called thrush.   But Drug Enforcement Agency agent Don Mendrala said the legal quantity of iodine available for sale at businesses like feed stores will last a typical rancher or horseman about a year. No one who has a legitimate need for the iodine needs 8-ounce quantities, he said.   Iodine is one of three vital ingredients, or precursors, needed in the production of methamphetamine. Because of the widespread problem of meth labs in Utah, lawmakers last year adopted legislation limiting the amount of iodine and other precursor chemicals that an individual can purchase at one time.   DEA and strike force officials allege the business had sold as much as 300 pounds of iodine since the start of the year or enough of the chemical to produce 1 million dosages of meth. The same quantity is equivalent to what would be found in as many as 600 labs.   The iodine costs the business about $28 a pound. In turn, they were marking their prices up by 200 percent and selling the 8-ounce quantities for as much as $145, Mendrala said.   "In terms of community impact, this is significant," Mendrala said, adding investigators know the store was supplying to cooks outside the Wasatch Front and possibly out of state.   The effort was joined by the state's Division of Criminal Investigations Bureau, where Capt. Kevin Youngberg said officers have been plagued by the escalating meth problem.   "We are running our pants off trying to do meth labs, shutting them down, picking up the glassware. It's run us crazy."   Tired of the frenetic pace, officers with the three agencies decided to go after illicit sources of the chemicals required to make meth.   "Instead of always trying to clean up labs, we're trying to prevent them by taking away the things they need to make meth," Youngberg said.   "We're tickled pink with this operation.",1249,70000250,00.html?
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