Authorities: New weapons needed to win Missouri's war on meth

By Holly Brantley

SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - A Sikeston man is behind bars in the Scott County jail facing charges in connection with a meth rain Monday night.

Brandon Berry, 35, faces charges of meth possession. Berry is behind bars on $25,000 cash only bond.

"We happened upon a bust last week and then this situation, maybe it's on the rise," said Sikeston Department of Public Safety Chief Drew Juden.

That's why investigators and pharmacists want a new weapon in the war on meth. Despite laws that keep medicines that contain Pseudoephedrine, the major meth making ingredient behind the counter, Missouri is still on of the nation's meth leaders.

"The best case scenario is something that would allow me to flip over a license and scan it, scan the products, see if anything pops up, and then ring them out. It would take seconds," said Brandon Eldridge, a pharmacist at Super D in Sikeston. "Then the information could be thrown into a data base."

Eldridge says there needs to be a data base linking up locally owned pharmacies with major chains to keep track of who's buying what, when, and where.

"Super D has a data base, but again that only logs sales at Super D," said Eldridge.

Other local pharmacists say they agree with Eldridge and so do authorities.

"That's one of the big problems we have is people that aren't actually manufacturing me they come in and get the pills and take it to cookers. They aren't placing themselves at risk," said Sgt. Jim McMillen of the Sikeston Dept. of Public Safety. "If we have a data base, it would be instrumental in stopping the activity."

"Anytime you have a way to track legal or illegal drugs it's going to help our efforts if the stores are tied together," said Chief Juden.

"It would be amazing," said Eldridge.

According to state investigators, the only draw back of a major data base would be finding the man power to monitor the information.

According to Sen. Jason Crowell, funding for a statewide data base was passed last year, but the Governor withheld funding this year.

Authorities tell me at one point a major drug company came close to paying the tab, but all the pieces never fell into place. Pharmacists and Investigators tell Heartland News the bill could total close to $900,000.