Mo. narcotics unit featured in new reality TV show

UNION, Mo. (AP) - Franklin County's longstanding battle against methamphetamine production may make reality TV stars out of some of its law enforcement officers.

A camera crew on Monday will begin trailing members of the county narcotics unit for three weeks while officers investigate suspected meth labs and suspects for a new cable show called "Methbusters," the Washington Missourian reported.

Franklin County has been among the leading counties in the nation for meth lab busts for more than a decade. The commander of the narcotics unit, Jason Grellner, is a nationally recognized advocate for tougher anti-meth laws.

Since the narcotic's unit's inception in 2005 it has busted several hundred meth labs in Franklin County, just southwest of St. Louis County.

Grellner said the reality series is expected to air on several cable channels, although he didn't know when it will be shown. He said the production company arrived last year and filmed a short pilot. He believes the program could help in the battle against meth.

"We are hoping to draw more attention to the (meth) problem and work toward a solution," said Grellner, who is scheduled to testify about the meth problem before a congressional committee on Tuesday in Washington. The film crew will be on hand taping that, he said.

The county narcotics unit has been featured in news documentaries over the years, Grellner said the county's consistent rank among the leaders in meth lab busts is largely because of aggressive enforcement and investigation.

Missouri also has a reputation for both a high number of meth labs, and strong enforcement. The state has led the nation in meth lab seizures every year for the past decade except in 2010, when it trailed only Tennessee.

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