Franklin County’s drug task force is going Hollywood... sort of.
A film crew from Off the Fence productions is scheduled to start filming next week for a proposed new reality television show, “Methbusters,” which will feature the operations of the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit as members investigate meth lab activities and arrest suspects.
The crew will be in the county for 21 days of filming, according to Detective Sgt. Jason Grellner, head of the drug task force which was formed in 2005.
Since its inception, the task force has investigated hundreds, perhaps thousands, of meth labs and has never lost a case that has been filed in court.
The TV production company came to Franklin County last year and filmed a short pilot to pitch the idea for the reality show, Grellner said.
“We are hoping to draw more attention to the (meth) problem and work toward a solution,” Grellner told The Missourian.
Grellner will be testifying about the meth problem before a congressional committee next Tuesday in Washington, D.C., and the film crew will be on hand taping that, he said.
The film crew also will be going out with task force members as they conduct surveillance operations, raid homes and serve warrants on suspects, he noted.
Grellner said the series is expected to air on several cable TV channels but he said no information is available on when the series will be shown.
The county narcotics unit has been featured in several news documentaries over the years, most recently in one produced by CNN on the growth of the “shake and bake,” or one-pot, meth lab process.
The new series will focus strictly on Franklin County’s task force, Grellner said.
Franklin County, for many years, has been among the top three counties in Missouri for meth lab busts. Officials say that is due to the aggressive investigation and enforcement techniques employed by the task force.
Missouri typically ranks No. 1 in meth labs among states in the U.S.