Two more people have been charged with producing methamphetamine in northern Michigan, this time in Ellsworth. Earlier this month police raided a house in Kalkaska County and three people were charged there. The two were unrelated.
In recent years a new method for producing meth has shown up that is simpler and less expensive. It can even be done in a plastic 2 liter bottle. Both meth operations in Antrim and Kalkaska Counties were using the so-called one-pot method, and police are worried more people are learning it.
"In fact, in the event in Kalkaska County that's exactly what was going there. There was one person there for the purpose of learning how to make this drug using this process," says Lieutenant Kip Belcher, with the Traverse Narcotics Team.
He says the knowledge mainly spreads through hands-on training: "Because the propensity for a problem to develop or an explosion is much more magnified if you're not doing a hands-on train-the-trainer kind of process," he says.
Meth is a powerful and highly addictive drug. Belcher says right now it's not a widely available in northern Michigan, and that most meth operations he sees are run by drug users who are making enough for their own habits and selling a little to support it.
Belcher says heroin has been the fastest growing problem in the Grand Traverse region.