By Dick Cook
JASPER, Tenn. Marion County Sheriffs Department investigators, with the help of 14 other area law enforcement agencies, arrested about 45 people today for buying illegal quantities of pseudoephedrine, the precursor drug of methamphetamine, officials said.
Marion County Sheriff Ronnie Bo Burnett said it was the first roundup of its kind in the state where investigators used pharmacy logs to track suspects who purchased more than 9 grams of the common cold medicine in a given month.
The suspects were charged with promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine, a Class D felony, officials said.
In the course of todays roundup, law enforcement officials discovered 10 methamphetamine labs in Grundy and Marion County, officials said.
In addition, 13 of 16 people wanted on federal charges of conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine were also arrested, said Ben Scott, special agent in charge of the Chattanooga office of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
E-mail Dick Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org
See tomorrows Chattanooga Times Free Press for full coverage.