BRUNSWICK, Ga. — The remnants left from cooking a small batch of methamphetamine discovered by police this month on a boat on Hardee Avenue in Brunswick is proof to Glynn County Police Capt. Terry Wright of just how easy it has become to cook the drug and remain undetected.
As the head of the Glynn-Brunswick Narcotics Enforcement Team, Wright has seen his share of meth cook sites and knows well how much a "one pot," or "shake and bake" cook method, has grown in popularity to produce the powerful stimulant.
A night earlier, Wright and the narcotics team arrested two suspects after Brunswick police discovered an active meth cook in a motor home on Player Street. Both suspects are charged with manufacturing methamphetamine.
In both cases, the batches were small and the cook sites difficult to detect by the undiscerning eye.
Cooking meth used to require special equipment and enough space to house it. Those were the days of the meth lab, Wright said.
Today, all that is needed is a bottle and the proper chemicals to make the highly addictive drug.
"Over time, they have refined what they do and it has gotten a lot smaller. Literally, it can be in something as small as a 20 ounce bottle," Wright said.
Although identifying the smaller operations can be tough, Wright said there are several things people can look for that may be signs of someone making the drug, or of a possible meth cook site.
Someone buying large amounts of lithium batteries could have plans to use the lithium in the drug, Wright said.
The same goes for drain opener, which contains the chemical lye, another ingredient often found in meth, he said.
Two other ingredients are camping fuel and efedrine, an ingredient commonly found in decongestants. Wright said people buying large amounts of any of those products could have plans to make meth. Simply purchasing them though does not mean someone has plans to make the drug, he added.
Both the motor home and the boat incident point to something else people can look out for that may indicate someone is making meth.
"Typically we see it being made in an out building or in a boat or a motor home," Wright said.
People who begin spending a lot of time in a motor home or a boat that rarely moves could be using them to make small batches. Out buildings or small sheds are also popular places, Wright said.
If the meth batches are large enough, they can emit a powerful odor, Wright said.