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      Has Oneida turned into a meth mecca?

      O neida City Police are dealing with a recent rash of methamphetamine busts in the city. Since June 14th, there have been three raids involving meth labs, resulting in a total of eight arrests and the confiscation of thousands of dollars worth of drugs.

      On Saturday, three people were arrested at a bust at 406 Lenox Avenue, just two doors away from a meth lab that was raided on June 14th. In addition to those two raids, another took place on June 28th in a quiet neighborhood at 1080 Palmer Drive. In all three cases, a special team of police investigators were called in to secure the volatile substances because the manufacture of meth creates an extreme hazard for explosion.

      Tiffany Coonrod witnessed the latest bust on August 20th near her home on Lenox Avenue. "With all the little kinds a that are around, what would have happened if they made one mistake and it just blew up...because they want to make meth? Are you kidding me? What kind of lifestyle is that?" she asked.

      As CNY Central has reported in the past, the area in and around the City of Oneida has emerged as a centralized location for the manufacturing and sale of meth. Oneida Police Chief David Meeker says information gathered from arrests in Oneida have led to meth lab raids and arrests in Sylvan Beach, Rome, Camden, Sherrill, and Munnsville.

      Despite a number of busts and arrests over the last several years, Chief David Meeker says the problem persists. Meeker tells CNY Central's Jim Kenyon it appears when they make an arrest of one of the main suppliers, the addicts will manufacture the drug in their own homes. "It's very addictive and once they get hooked on it, they want to keep their supply up. So they either find somebody else to get it from or start making it themselves." Meeker said.

      Police say if you're concerned about a meth lab in your neighborhood, some signs to look for include: an odor similar to cat urine or ammonia, large amounts of trash which would include pseudoephedrine, windows that are boarded or taped up, and a lot of late night traffic.

      Oneida Police say if you witness such activity, do not handle any of the materials yourself, call the police.