Computer database will help track meth makers - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Computer database will help track meth makers

Rob Savage (L) and Jimmie Harp (center) at Jerry's Pharmacy in Gadsden. Source: WBRC video Rob Savage (L) and Jimmie Harp (center) at Jerry's Pharmacy in Gadsden. Source: WBRC video
GADSDEN, AL (WBRC) -

Etowah County authorities have enlisted pharmacists as they crack down on the practice of smurfing, which is when an organized group of individuals go from one store to another to gather enough pseudoephedrine to make meth.

Etowah County's Drug Task Force Commander Rob Savage and District Attorney Jimmie Harp announced a new campaign Friday at Jerry's Pharmacy in Gadsden.

Pharmacists will take advantage of the N-Plex computer database, which keeps up with people who buy pseudoephedrine. The database can help flag people who may be smurfing.

Authorities say catching these smurfing groups will be a major step in cracking down on meth labs.

"It's destructive, it's devastating, and any tool that we've got to aid in the pharmacy industry, to aid in law enforcement, aid in prosecution, I'm all for it," Harp said.

Smurfing  became a felony in Alabama in October. Harp says that Alabama is one of the first states to use that approach.

Copyright 2012 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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