• From: "Randall W. Ruble" <randallruble@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Randall W. Ruble" <randallruble@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 08:42:07 -0500





[Sun Sep 12 2004]

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS -- Methamphetamine manufacturers may soon find themselves
in the pink or looking for a new way to manufacture the illicit drug. 

On Wednes- day, GloTell hits the market. It's an additive that turns
anhydrous ammonia -- a key ingredient in meth manufact- ure of the "Nazi"
method -- a bright, glowing pink. 

The GloTell product will be mass distributed by Royster Clark, which will
target the retail market. The additive will cost about $9 per ton of
anhydrous ammonia. 

The product initially was developed in Southern Illinois, facilitated by
researchers at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. It is
non-carcinogenic, non-toxic and environmentally friendly, according to
GloTell promotional literature. It is being marketed as an "anhydrous theft

A side benefit is that the bright pink color, visible only when the
anhydrous hits the atmosphere, can also show when there is a leak in the
tank or hoses. 

The pink color lasts through the meth making process, not only turning the
end product pink, but also staining the noses of those who snort it, and the
injection sites of those who shoot it. Additionally, the meth made with pink
anhydrous is said to be inferior to the meth made with untreated anhydrous. 

"This is going to change meth production methods," said Tom McNamara, former
director of the Southern Illinois Enforcement Group and now its special
projects coordinator. "It will reduce the use of meth because it will be
harder to produce meth." 

McNamara said he expects the theft of anhydrous used to make meth will
decrease. While there are other methods of making the drug, the anhydrous
method results in the most pure meth. 

McNamara said anhydrous meth is up to 90 percent pure while meth made with
the red phosphorous method is only about 35 percent pure. In addition, it
takes about six hours to make meth with red phosphorous, compared to the two
hours needed for the anhydrous "Nazi" method. 

"This is not going to stop the meth -- it's going to change it and make it
less available," McNamara said, noting the easy and cheap availability of
the drug is one of the factors that has caused its explosive spread in rural
areas, including Southern Illinois. 

"I have seen the product used," he said. "It is not at all a natural color.
No meth user is going to want to glow pink." 

According to the state police, the anhydrous method accounts for 95 percent
of meth production in Illinois, with the red phosphorous method making up
the other 5 percent. 

Scott Mulford, a spokesman for the Illinois Attorney General's office, said
it is too early to tell how the GloTell additive may affect prosecution of
meth cases. It will partly depend, he said, on how much the product is used.

"I imagine that by a year from now, we will have a better sense of how
GloTell is impacting the serious problems and challenges associated with the
production and abuse of meth," he said. 

Clarence Oldham, former owner of Oldham Bros. Fertilizer and Propane in
Shawneetown, said he has already used the product during its testing phases.
He said if he finds GloTell effective at keeping away anhydrous thieves,
he'll continue to use it. 

Oldham said theft detection can be difficult because thieves stealing
anhydrous for making meth typically don't take a lot at any one time. In
fact, Oldham said he usually knows they were there because they leave their
hoses attached to the valves. 

Oldham said he has reason to suspect that meth manufacture is actually
taking place on site. He said along with hoses attached to his tanks, he
often finds empty containers and glass bowls and jars. 

"We put up a light to discourage them, and they've moved as close as they
can to the light, I guess so they can see better. I think if we shut off the
light, they wouldn't be able to see to make their meth right there," he

Oldham said he estimates anhydrous thieves visit him between four and eight
times a month. One of his biggest concerns is what would happen if they left
the valves open and caused a serious anhydrous leak. 

Tom Gibbs, the owner of Gibbs Fertilizer Corp. in Harrisburg, said he plans
to use the additive, especially if "everyone else does." He said he would
hate to become an easy mark by not using a deterrent that is widely

andrea.kampwerth@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 618-529-5454 x15076 





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