UPDATE Monday 10:00 p.m. -- Sunday morning's big meth bust by West Monroe police highlighted a meth-making trend in our area.
Police said that trend is making it harder for them to track down meth-makers.
It all started just after midnight Sunday morning when West Monroe Police were in a Walgreens parking lot at Cypress Street and Thomas Road.
Police said 50-year-old Donald Jones and 29-year-old Devon Hatten walked out of the store with pseudoephedrine.
Police followed the car.
When it failed to use a turn signal, they pulled it over, saying they found a third person inside: 37-year-old Barbara Watson and the bag of pseudoephedrine hidden in the back seat.
"The female, Watson, stated that she was asked by Jones to go and purcahse Sudafed, her and Hatten were asked to go purchase Sudafed for Jones for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine," the arresting officer, Sgt. Jason Kukal, said.
That led to a search warrant of Jones' house at 287 Tulane Street in Monroe, where police found three other people: 44-year-old Mickle Till, Jr., 24-year-old Gregory Hamilton and 24-year-old Mindy Jones.
"One individual did state that they were aware of items being purchased for methamphetamine manufacture and that they were users of methamphetamine," Kukal said.
All six were arrested on drug and clandestine lab charges.
West Monroe Police call this another example of a meth-making trend they call "Smurfing."
"When they purchase one item at a time, that makes it more difficult for the police to see that," Kukal explained.
Police said this happens every day but "smurfing" makes arrests difficult.
Police said all they can do is keep watching for when mundane shopping trips turn suspicious.
"When we see other things that draw our attention to it, we're going to follow through with that," Kukal said.
ORIGINAL STORY -- The West Monroe Police Department made a methamphetamine lab bust this weekend.
According to the arrest report, it started around midnight on Sunday, when a West Monroe police officer was stopped at a Walgreens. The report says he watched two men, later identified as 50-year old Donald Jones and 29-year old Devon Hatten, enter and exit the store.
The police report states that the officer noticed Hatten had bought a box of pseudoephedrine,via the pseudoephedrine log.
The officer said he watched Jones drive away with Hatten, as well as 37-year old Barbara Watson. The vehicle turned without using a signal, and a traffic stop was made.
The report says all three were questioned, and all individual stories were different. The officer asked for and was given the consent to search. The report says he found the pseudoephedrine and a receipt for Coleman fuel dated that night.
The report says Watson admitted Jones had asked her and Hatten to buy ingredients for the purpose of manufacturing meth and would pay them $25.
This led to a search warrant on Jones' home. That night around 3:30 a.m., the West Monroe Street Crimes Unit obtained the warrant for the 200 block of Tulane Street in Monroe.
The arrest report says during the search, three people were found inside, later identified as 24-year old Mindy Jones, 44-year old Mickle Till, Jr., and 24-year old Gregory Hamilton.
Police say during the search, an active methamphetamine lab was found, along with all the precursor items needed to manufacture meth.
All were advised of their rights. The report says Till stated that they knew what was going on inside the home, and were all users of meth.
Each person was booked into Ouachita Correction Center on Sunday, accused of drug and clandestine lab charges.