MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) -- Opal Barnett operates a convenience store just a stone's throw from what officials describe as a crystal meth lab.
"Several customers had told us what is that smell going on? I said I don't know. Somebody must have tracked something in."
Nothing was tracked in but there was tracking of another sort in the works. Investigators have been looking for meth labs and they say they found a fifth one at a home located on Highway 278 between Amory and Hatley.
"They were presently in there cooking drugs-had already cooked drugs before we got here (and) were still making drugs in there (and) had all the precursors to make more drugs," Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell said.
Hours after the early morning bust, they continued to find ingredients which the sheriff says are used to make meth.
"We put those people out of business."
A statement he also uses when referring to the people who used to live at a home on Center Hill Road in the Lackey community.
Officials say they discovered enough chemicals there to blow up a city block.
Some are not surprised at all by multiple meth lab discoveries.
"You can smell it. You can get this odor of ether like somebody cleaning the carburetor or something. It burns your eyes," Richard Harrelson, a nearby auto business employee, said.
Back at Barnett's County Store, Opal is thankful people are behind bars, but at the same time she can't help but worry.
"It's very scary because this is our business and our livelihood and not only that, what about our children that this has affected?"
That question that may be a valid one. It takes thousands of dollars to clean each property where chemicals have been used to make crystal meth.