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Sheriff's Department announces nine meth-related arrests

Sheriff Mark Pazin said 2008 is shaping up to be a record year for methamphetamine, following an operation by Merced County Sheriff’s investigators netted nine arrests connected with meth production this weekend.

While a state Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement report ranked number Merced County number one in the state for 72 meth lab related incidents in 2007, Pazin said the county already has 21 meth lab-related this year.

Pazin said the 36-hour operation began Friday, when investigators with the department’s Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) and Sheriff’s Tactical and Reconnaissance Team (STAR) targeted six meth-lab sites in Merced and Stanislaus counties. The sites included independent user labs and During the operation investigators found large stashes weapons, which included two grenades and a variety of guns, and materials used in the production of methamphetamine.

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or