View Full Version : Fertilizer

Kevin Arceneaux
05-11-2009, 9:58 AM
This happened to a fellow gardener and he posted it in the bayougardener forums. Thought you might be interested

"I went to the county co-op today to buy some amonia nitrate for my corn. I left the co-op and was going to the hardware store to buy electric fence, wasn't quite sure where it was so I circled a few blocks trying to get my bearings. I got pulled over by George County, Ms narcotic task force. They imediately pulled me from my car and began accusing me of conspiracy to manufacture meth. They make me take off my sun glasses and hat, then take my wallet out and my pocket knife and cell phone. I had nothing to hide so I gave them permission to search my car ( i never clean my car out). Well I happened to have an empty sudafed box from lord only knows when. So then they want to know where i was heading, i tell them the hardware store. First thing the officer says "going to get some drano"; apparently this is what people use to make meth. I then get accused of trying to ditch them cause i was lost driving around the block in an area i do not frequent alot. Not a good day! I have worked hard all my life and tried to do the right thing, then i get treated like this. I have almost lost my desire to even garden now. Was buying the fence to combat the deer, but not now. I am over it. I really need some words to pick me up.

I found out buying just one 50lb bag of ammonia nitrate automatically gets a red flag from the folks at the co-op, even though the made me fill out paper work to buy it and got my personal info. They fax it straight to the sheriffs office down the road."

David G Baker
05-11-2009, 10:34 AM
I would think that the bomb squad would be looking at your friend for buying the ammonium nitrate instead of the Narcs. Remember Waco? Sudafed on the other hand!
I think that if I was your friend I would be writing a few letters and making a few phone calls.

Joe Pelonio
05-11-2009, 10:47 AM
My step father worked at a hardware store in California about 10 years ago.
They could tell right away when people were planning to make drugs, they always bought the same items and often asked where the plastic tubing and stuff was. Eventually they got a visit from the police and started to call them
when filling "the list" and they ended up making lots of arrests that way as the people left the store and were followed home. Apparently those drug houses are extremely dangerous and could take out a whole neighborhood if they went up in flames so it's more than just stopping the drugs from getting to the street.

Eric DeSilva
05-11-2009, 12:15 PM
Not Waco, OK City. That was the fertilizer bomb. I can see investigating bulk purchases of ammonium nitrate. If he was driving erratically, that might explain getting pulled over.

Sudafed (the old OTC version) was an ingredient in bathtub meth. And, yes, meth labs are very explosive. The stupid part of this story is that the ability to manufacture meth with OTC drugs has resulted in those drugs being doled out by a pharmacist, with name/ID requirements. You buy too much, you will get investigated. So, its kind of stupid to accuse someone of this--you just can't go into a store anymore and buy the quantities of OTC drugs needed for meth. Cops were not very with it.

This is why, if you want real cold medicine, you need to ask the pharmacist these days. All the versions on the shelves have been doctored to remove the active ingredient of interest to druggies, but that also means they don't work that well for their original purpose. The full strength, the-way-they-used-to-be versions are doled out by the pharmacist.

Karl Brogger
05-11-2009, 1:19 PM
File a complaint on the law enforcement officer. There's doing their jobs, then there's them being a pain in the rear. My guess is you don't look like a drug addict, and the deputy should've known better. 50lbs of ammonium nitrate won't do much. We used to mix fertalizer and diesel in 5gal buckets for blowing beaver dams out of water ways on the farm. I think McVeigh used a few tons on the Federal Building.

My girlfriend asked me to pick her up some of the real Sudafed. Filled out the paper work, they copied my license. blah blah blah. What I don't understand, is that by making these products more difficult to aquire, they're actually making the problem worse. If you're dumb enough to shoot/smoke that chemical concoction that really what is the harm in you not surviving to old age? A good solid overdose is the easiest way to end the issue.

Dan Mages
05-11-2009, 3:16 PM
+1 on filing a complaint with the local athorities. There is no reason to be treated like that for LEGALLY buying one bag of fertilizer.


David G Baker
05-11-2009, 3:34 PM
I had a case of brain gas when I wrote Waco, duh! I knew it was Oklahoma City. Guess Waco was easier to spell. :D

Contra Costa County at one time was the meth capitol of the world according to a national TV news show. I lived in Antioch. The EPA pretty much closed down all of the blue collar factories in the town so there was not any future locally for the young folks so they made meth, sold meth, used meth or all three. Destroyed a lot of local lives in the town and surrounding communities. Had several busts in my immediate neighborhood. Scary

Brent Leonard
05-11-2009, 4:16 PM
Sounds like a manufactered story to me.

Too many things all JUST happening by "accident".....

Scott T Smith
05-11-2009, 5:08 PM
I buy amonia nitrate in bulk by the TON every springtime, and have never been hassled.

Of course, it's loaded into a fertilizer spreader, which may make a difference...

I was unaware that it was used in the manufacture of illegal drugs.

Eric DeSilva
05-11-2009, 5:37 PM
I was unaware that it was used in the manufacture of illegal drugs.

It's not.

As I understand it, sales of large quantities are monitored by some states (or perhaps even the feds) solely because of the potential for use as a bomb.

Sounds like this guy ran into improperly educated cops or they were just in a mood to hassle someone.

Cliff Rohrabacher
05-11-2009, 7:59 PM
Yup. The year after Oklahoma I was in the local Agway with an order for a hunnert pounds of Ammonium Nitrate or Urea whatever they had.

The looks I got.

One guy wanted to know what I was going to do with all that.
I told him: "Makes the grass green."

Mike Henderson
05-11-2009, 8:31 PM
The only problem I've ever had with Ammonium Nitrate is that it's a very short release nitrogen fertilizer. It gets your grass green but it's gone quickly and then your grass is back the way it was.

Maybe you can buy a slow release version now.

But, yes, the feds are very interested in people who buy a bunch because it can be used to make an explosive. I worked on oil survey boats (in the Gulf of Mexico) at one time and we used an ammonium nitrate based explosive (I think it was about 50 pounds per shot) and it threw a lot of water into the air.


Dave Lehnert
05-11-2009, 9:39 PM
Sounds like a manufactered story to me.

Too many things all JUST happening by "accident".....

What I was thinking but you never know.

Dick Strauss
05-12-2009, 12:03 AM
FYI-anhydrous ammonia can be used to produce meth but not ammonium nitrate...ammonium nitrate can be combined with #2 fuel oil or kerosene to make the explosive mixture ANFO used in mining operations.

If this really happened, the cops need some more education if they want to help prevent drug production and terrorist activites!

Butch Edwards
05-12-2009, 8:41 AM
lemme see...we have products that were once used for intended purpose(fertilizer/otc medictions/household cleaners/etc)for decades,have been more recently abused to make illegal concoctions like bombs and drugs... seems as tho we've lost a handle on some things in this country, and can only foresee it not getting any better(meaning, more products being controlled due to similar practices)...
Making life more inconvienient for law abiding citizens hasn't solved anything here as far as I can see...

Ted Calver
05-12-2009, 9:35 AM
I tried to buy amonium nitrate fertilizer last year because it was recommended as part of a strawbale gardening experiment and found none available to the average homeowner here in my area of Virginia. The gardening stores stopped stocking it because of the paperwork involved. It is still available to farmers in large quantities because then the paperwork is worth it I guess. Bummer for us home gardeners. I hate it when government overreacts and then won't reconsider the mess it makes.

Dick Strauss
05-12-2009, 10:37 AM
I don't think most honest folks wouldn't mind signing a paper or showing their drivers license to purchase the product for its intended use.

IIRC this is what they do for real Sudafed (non-PE version) at the pharmacies for folks that suffer from allergies like me.

Roger Bell
05-12-2009, 11:15 PM
It is so reassuring to know that Barney Fife is alive and well.