Authorities in O'Brien County, Iowa say a rural water employee noticed a 150-pound chlorine cylinder missing from this well pump house.
It had about 135 pounds of chlorine in it.
But when officials found it Saturday in a ditch about five miles from the pump house, it was nearly empty, just two pounds of the concentrated chemical was left.
Deputies in O'Brien County fear chlorine is the latest ingredient in the ever-changing recipe of methamphetamine drugs, a new version known as C-C2 or C2-C. And the contents of that tank could be cooking right now.
There is new methamphetamine recipe in drug dealers' cookbooks. One that calls for an unhealthy dose of liquid or gas chlorine.
Okay, what have they done to alter the recipe for meth or what other drug are we looking at? ponders Darcy Jensen, executive director of Prairie View Prevention Services in
She fears now that anhydrous ammonia is harder to get a hold of, meth cooks are cooking up new ideas.
What I would say is a rather negative way of using their talents, she says.
The result is a new drug sometimes known as C2-C or C-C2. It looks similar to the crystal meth that drug enforcement is fighting throughout the
It's a marketing issue, she says. (Drug dealers) are not going to want to put a new name or new drug out there is that's been the drug of choice in the area.
But it does mean farmers and fertilizer plants aren't the only ones who need to guard their chemicals. Wholesale chlorine sellers, community swimming pools and pump houses should secure their tanks. And in the meantime, drug experts are anticipating which chemicals the cooks will turn to next.
That's the part we need to keep working on. We have to follow the 'what's next on the list' process, she says.
It's part of the always-evolving war on meth.
Right now there aren't any suspects in the case of the stolen chlorine tank. It was found thanks to a citizen tip call. Anyone with information should call the O'Brien County Sheriff's Department.