Another factor that came into play, he said, was the growing popularity of "shake and bake" or one-pot manufacturing.
"The ease of manufacturing has some to do with it," Lewis said. "Years ago it took one to two days to manufacture meth. Now this new one pot, 'shake and bake' method takes 45 minutes to two hours.
"Now they don't need a heat source. They cook it in a pop bottle and they can do it in a house or in a backpack or in their pants pocket."
He said officers reported finding a meth lab in a man's pants pocket last year. Lewis said the man had been making meth in a bottle tucked inside a pocket in his cargo pants.
"Its amazing to me that they can do it so easily," Lewis said.
A law passed in 2005 to move over the counter drugs containing pseudoephedrine to behind the counter. That law required purchasers to show ID to buy the product.
A 2012 law limited how much pseudoephedrine could be purchased. A person could purchase only one box, about 3.6 grams, in one day. That person can buy no more than 7.2 grams per month, which equates to about one pill a day for a month, and 48 grams a year, which is about a six-month supply.
He said those limits still allow residents to buy enough to manufacture a personal supply of meth.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.