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      Meth labs task force facing cuts

      With an increase in meth lab busts and recent budget cuts, are meth lab investigations and their clean-up in jeopardy? That TMs what Facebook fans wanted to know for our Facebook Story of The Day.

      Missouri is number one in the nation when it comes to producing meth and lab busts, with over 955 labs found this year alone and almost 2,000 busted last year.

      Since 2000, The Missouri Sheriff Methamphetamine Relief Task Force was put in place to crack down on the labs and the criminals behind them.

      But this past February, it was announced that there will be no more federal funding available to the task force after January of 2012.

      The cost of cleaning up and disposing of a meth lab can reach up to $5,000.

      Captain Chris Brown of The North Central Missouri Drug Task Force says that no federal money means job cuts, which means fewer staffers and less man power to investigate meth cases. You're going to find where law enforcement is just not going to be able to devote the time it takes to go out and hunt down and investigate methamphetamine labs. Brown said. So the only thing they can do is respond when somebody calls and says they found a dumpsite or something in the abandoned house or a field or in a road ditch. That's all about law enforcement is going to be able to do because the money just isn't there to go out and investigate and find it and bring those people to justice.

      The drug task force is hoping that the state will come up with its own funding before the end of the year. They TMre urging all of you to contact your state and federal lawmakers.