Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Cara Smith
312-814-3118
877-844-5461 (TTY)

csmith@atg.state.il.us
November 1, 2006

MADIGAN, TRENT ANNOUNCE RESULTS OF SECOND STATEWIDE METH PRECURSOR COMPLIANCE CHECK

RETAILER COMPLIANCE UP, METH LABS DOWN, AS RESTRICTIONS ON COLD MEDICATION DRIVE ILLINOIS METH-MAKERS OUT OF BUSINESS

Chicago – Following the second statewide check to determine whether retailers are abiding by restrictions on the sale of the methamphetamine precursors, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Larry Trent said retailer compliance is improving and the number of Illinois meth labs is dropping.

The Attorney General’s Office and the ISP conducted the first round of compliance checks during the second week of May and found that 96% of pharmacies but only 12% of convenience stores were complying with the restrictions.  On October 10-19, the Attorney General’s Office and the ISP conducted a second round of compliance checks focused exclusively on convenience stores and found that:

  • more than four-fifths of convenience stores checked (81%) no longer sell meth precursors; and

  • nearly half (49%) of the stores that do sell meth precursors are fully compliant with the restrictions, up from just 12% in May.

As compliance with the restrictions on sales of meth precursors has increased, the number of meth labs has dropped.  The number of meth labs seized by the ISP fell by nearly half (47%) during the third quarter of 2006, when ISP seized 136 labs, compared to the third quarter of 2005, when ISP seized 257 labs.

“By taking away the one thing meth makers need to concoct their deadly brew, pseudoephedrine, we’ve made it much more difficult for those criminals.  As a result, every Illinois resident is safer,” said Madigan.  “While there is more work to be done, law enforcement officials, retailers, and members of the public should be proud of their efforts to make these restrictions work,” Madigan added.

"The Illinois State Police Meth Response Teams will continue to work diligently to restrict access to methamphetamine precursors by those with illicit intentions," said Director Trent.  "We are encouraged to see that our combined efforts to curb the spread of methamphetamine are paying dividends."

The sweep, conducted during a ten-day period between October 10 and 19, focused on the effectiveness of the Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act, which took effect January 15, 2006. The law makes pseudoephedrine and ephedrine – both key ingredients in meth – “schedule V controlled substances.” It requires that all single and multi-active ingredient products, tablets, liquids and gel caps be placed behind the counter. Although customers wishing to purchase such products do not need a prescription, they must display a photo ID and sign a log.

Madigan proposed the measure, which was introduced in the House by State Rep. John Bradley and in the Senate by State Sen. William Haine.

During the sweep, investigators from Madigan’s office and the ISP divided the state into the seven ISP investigative zones and visited 354 convenience stores across the state.  Of the 354 convenience stores visited:

  • 286 (81% of the total) did not sell meth precursors at all;

  • 33 stores (9% of the total) sold meth precursors and complied with the law; and

  • 35 stores (10% of the total) sold meth precursors but did not comply fully with the law.

As these figures indicate, nearly half of the stores that do sell meth precursors (33 out of 68, or 49%) are fully compliant with the MPCA, up from just 12% in May.

For the 35 stores that were not in compliance with the law, the most common reasons for non-compliance were:

  • The store kept ephedrine or pseudoephedrine products on open shelves, not behind the counter as the law requires;

  • The store sold ephedrine or pseudoephedrine products in tablets or other starch-based forms, not in liquid or liquid-filled capsule form as the law requires for convenience stores;

  • The store sold more than one ephedrine or pseudoephedrine package to a single customer, violating the one-package limit the law imposes on convenience stores;

  • The store failed to check the identification of the customer as the law requires;

  • The law failed to have the customer sign a logbook as the law requires; or

  • The store failed to keep records documenting that employees had received training required by the law.

Madigan commended the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association, and the Illinois Pharmacists Association for educating their members about the MPCA.

The results of the sweep, broken down by zone, are summarized in the chart below, which shows the number and percentage of stores that do not sell ephedrine or pseudoephedrine products; the number and percentage of stores that sell ephedrine or pseudoephedrine products and comply with the law; and the number and percentage of stores that sell ephedrine or pseudoephedrine products but do not comply with the law.

ZONE 1 includes Chicago and Suburban Cook County, DeKalb, Sycamore, and Sandwich.

ZONE 2 includes Rochelle, Sterling, Polo, Mt. Morris, Oregon, Byron, Morrison, Rock Falls, Dixon, Erie, and Galesburg.

ZONE 3 includes Genoa, Minooka, Morris, Mendota, Peru, Mazon, Sibley, Princeton, Spring Valley, Coal City, and La Salle.

ZONE 4 includes Jacksonville, Springfield, Taylorville, Lincoln, Quincy, Peoria, Macomb, Carthage, Pekin, East Peoria, Peoria Heights, Bartonville, and Monmouth.

ZONE 5 includes Fairbury, Savoy, Urbana, Champaign, Danville, Decatur, Bloomington, and Normal.

ZONE 6 includes Edwardsville, Troy, Maryville, Collinsville, Glen Carbon, Granite City, Fairview Heights, O’Fallon, Swansea, Belleville, Shiloh, Columbia, and Cahokia.

ZONE 7 includes Benton, W. Frankfort, Marion, Carbondale, Mt. Vernon, Effingham, Johnston City, Harrisburg, Du Quoin, Pinckneyville, Nashville.

ISP Zone

# / % of stores
that do not sell

# / % of stores
that sell and
comply

# / % of stores
that sell and
do not comply

# / % TOTAL

Zone 1

92 / 89%

4 / 4%

7 / 7%

103 / 100%

Zone 2

51 / 82%

5 / 8%

6 / 10%

62 / 100%

Zone 3

50 / 88%

1 / 2%

6 / 10%

57 / 100%

Zone 4

24 / 60%

7 / 18%

9 / 22%

40 / 100%

Zone 5

28 / 82%

2 / 6%

4 / 12%

34 / 100%

Zone 6

13 / 72%

5 / 28%

0 / 0%

18 / 100%

Zone 7

28 / 70%

9 / 22%

3 / 8%

40 / 100%

TOTAL

286 / 81%

33 / 9%

35 / 10%

354 / 100%

-30-


Return to November 2006 Press Releases