Meth house database: Is your home on the list? - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Meth house database: Is your home on the list?


When it comes to buying or renting a home, what you don't know really might hurt you.

WTOC has been looking into what happens to "meth houses" after the drug cooks move out. There's currently no national requirement for cleaning those homes.

But there is a national database, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Clandestine Lab registry. It's public record, so anyone can long on and find out whether a home is on the list.

WTOC found 11 labs in the station's viewing area, all of them registered over the past decade. The first two we visited had no building standing at the listed address. The third was a mobile home park with 38 lots and no specific address listed for the former meth house. Then we knocked on Theresa Walker's door in Garden City.

"I didn't know," she said. "It was a shock, a shock."

Walker's address was registered in the DEA database in 2005, long before Walker moved in with her three children.

"I'll probably be looking for somewhere else for me and my kids to move in," she said after finding out about the database.

Cpl. Steve Blunt cleans up meth houses for the Effingham County Sheriff's office. Here's what he's seen left behind.

Left behind he's seen, "a lot of residue on the walls, surfaces of the house, actually methamphetamine itself coming from the gas from the manufacturing process.

You're going to have hydrochloric acid residue. You're going to have spills from the caustic material and the acids. A lot of the times, a cook will bury it in the yard, and you won't even be aware of it until you dig and you uncover this substance."

Blunt and the rest of Effingham's Drug Task Force are DEA-trained in cleaning that up. He thinks most of the risk is gone after they've done their work.

States like Tennessee require an extensive decontamination for meth houses. But in Georgia, there are no state-wide requirements.

Since the DEA's Clandestine Lab Registry is voluntary, Blunt recommends contacting local law enforcement to find out about any previous drug manufacturing in a home.

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