Hardly a day goes by that we don't read or hear about police arresting people and shutting down methamphetamine labs.  It's not something to be proud of, but making and selling "meth" is a big business in east Texas.

In the most recent big case, a federal grand jury has indicted 13 Angelina County people on federal charges of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

via Federal grand jury indicts 13 on meth charges - The Lufkin Daily News: Local & State.

This comes only three months after another case in which Lufkin officers busted what they said was the biggest meth lab they've ever seen.

via Biggest meth lab bust in Angelina County history | KETK.

In still another separate case, three Lufkin women were indicted this week on charges of conspiring to cook meth.

via Three women charged with conspiring to cook meth - The Lufkin Daily News: Local & State.

These are just the recent Lufkin cases.  What in the world is going on?

Methamphetamine is cheap and easy to make, and people can go into business for themselves, making it and selling it. They can make a lot of money without having to associate with international drug cartels that deal in cocaine and heroin.

Since 2000, hundreds of meth labs have been found and shut down all over Deep East Texas, but officers say they're like kudzu. You can't get rid of them.

For every lab they shut down, others pop up somewhere else practically overnight in motel rooms, car trunks, mobile homes, suitcases, sheds, toolboxes, and clearings in the woods.

Some labs have sophisticated operations equipped with professional-grade glassware and surveillance systems;  others have just a hot plate, a couple of Pyrex bowls, and ingredients bought at the hardware store.

East Texas isn't the only area that's struggling to stamp out meth labs. This is happening in small towns and rural areas all over the country. It's a national plague.