'Shake and Bake' Meth Makers Move into Mingo County

By: Carrie Jones Email
By: Carrie Jones Email

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Methamphetamine has never been a huge problem around Mingo County, until now.

Friday, a special task force made what they believe to be the first meth bust in the county. They’ve arrested buyers and sellers before, but never had substantial evidence of a working meth lab.

"We're fearful it's going to start spreading just like wild fire," said Trooper Brandon Moore.

The materials they found at James Ramey’s home in Dingess aren’t used in the normal meth lab.

Lt Dave Rockel, Williamson Police Department, believe Ramey was using what’s called the “shake and bake” method. It involves cooking the meth in plastic beverage bottles.

"Everything is basically piled in there together and they basically let the pressure off," Lt. Rockel said.

With this new method that’s catching on around the country, all the ingredients can be carried around in a duffel bag. It only takes about an hour to make it, and it can sell on the streets for about $1,000.

"You can take in the bathroom, you can make it in the back of a car, you can make it anywhere," said Lt. Rockel.

Mingo County’s big problem right now is prescription drugs. Ramey crossed into the area from Kentucky where he’s been accused of making meth in the past. Authorities worry is short stay in their area is just the beginning of their problems.

"In only the five months he's been here he's already taught three people how to make this," said Tpr. Moore. "He's made it with children present and you can't calculate the damage he's done already."

Just like the bigger labs, the “shake and bake” method can be just as deadly for meth cooks who don’t know what they’re doing.

Now that the man with the knowledge is behind bars, Mingo County’s special task force hopes it can nip this new problem in the bud.

Lithium batteries, nail polish remover, coffee filters and pseudophedrine are just some of the items used to make meth. Police are asking anyone who may suspect someone is making meth to contact their local authorities.


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