Cold medicine purchases link suspect to meth charges

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) – Williamsburg Police said an online database used by law enforcement and pharmacies helped in the arrest of man suspected of making meth.

Officers arrested 36-year-old Tyson Hanna on Wednesday after searching his upstairs apartment on Virginia Avenue. He was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and taken to the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail.

Police did not charge anyone else from the home.

According to court documents, a search of an online database showed that Hanna and his mother made close to 20 purchases of pseudoephedrine since October 2013, a drug used to make meth. State law limits individual purchases of pseudoephedrine to 3.6 grams per day and 9 grams per month. If a customer attempts to purchase more than allowed by law, pharmacists cannot sell the pseudoephedrine.

Major Greg Riley with Williamsburg Police Department said it was not clear if Hanna attempted to buy an amount that would have raised red flags: “I’d say for the vast amount of people that the system works. The system is designed to keep people from purchasing large amounts of these products, which are the base ingredient in making methamphetamine.”

According to the search warrant, Hanna’s mother, who lives in the home, told someone she was concerned her son was making meth. She reported seeing residue on her cookware. Police said they had no reason to believe she was involved in the alleged meth production.

Officers reported that during a search of the apartment and Hanna’s trash, they found bottles of dried sludge, empty packs of pseudoephedrine, several pieces of aluminum foil with scorch marks and empty bottles of charcoal and lighter fluid.

Pharmacist Ron Woods of Good Neighbor Pharmacy said the restrictions on the medicine have changed his business, but he understands why they’re needed.

“It cut down on sales, so it’s an inconvenience for me as a business person. It’s an inconvenience for customers who really are not abusers,” he said. “However, it must be making a difference in the purchase of this pseudoephedrine and the production of methamphetamine.”

Police records show Hanna was convicted of possession of methamphetamine in Florida in 2011.

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