GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - From the outskirts of Moncks Corner to quiet Mt. Pleasant neighborhoods, an undercover detective with Berkeley County says meth is on the move.
"Hotels, motels, cars... It's on the rise," he said. "They're kind of moving out of the rural areas and going into the more populated, residential areas."
Since January, Live 5 News has reported 13 meth lab busts within the Lowcountry. But it's not until April when the detective said a trend starts to emerge. Meth is going mobile.
Starting with a bust in Sangaree out of a car, a half a mile from a school, six meth labs have been busted by police.
In five of the six cases, the cooking was being done on the move or in temporary locations.
"They're trying to make it harder for us to catch them," said the detective, who did not want to be identified. "Their location is constantly changing. This guy is doing it at this hotel and by the time you get the information and you do show up to the hotel they've already checked out."
But if they check in next to you, the detective said to keep your eyes out for anyone keeping odd hours and the most tell-tale sign, the odor.
"It has a cat urine smell with a chemical twist," he said. "Once you've smelt one, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about."
In the 13 meth lab busts reported by Live 5 News since the New Year, more than 30 people have been taken into custody.
Meth is short for methamphetamine. It is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It is also known as ice, speed, crank or poor man's cocaine.