When the internationally renowned television production company Off the Fence was thinking about putting together a pilot program about the growing problem of methamphetamine labs plaguing rural America, it did not take its producers long to figure out who to contact.
They called Jason Grellner who is the commander of the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit (FCNEU). This multi-talented law enforcement unit has won numerous awards and honors in their fight against drugs.
In the last five years alone they have busted more than 1,500 meth labs in their corner of Missouri.
Edgar Springs native Kody Lucas has been a detective with the FCNEU since 2009. His work along with the rest of his team will be showcased in a pilot show appropriately called "Methbusters" which will premiere on MSNBC at 5 a.m. Thursday, July 4.
"Last July and August they followed us around filming us over our shoulder watching us do what we do best," said Lucas. "We busted several individuals during that time."
The 39-year-old father of seven told The Rolla Daily News that he has always wanted to fight the bad guys.
"Since I was a young boy I always wanted to be a musician or a police officer. I travelled and played in a band for 11 years and after becoming a father I thought I would put the music dream on hold. I ran my own exterior business for five or so years before I became bored with that and it was then that I applied for the Missouri Sheriff's Academy," Lucas said.
He graduated from the academy in 2002. Over the last decade, he has patrolled the streets of Edgar Springs, served as a detective in Phelps County and even did a stint as an undercover officer for the FCNEU a few years back.
"I love working for the citizens of this area," he said. "This is where I was born and raised and am still raising my own family today."
One thing that Lucas likes about the way the pilot program of Methbusters was put together is that it shows a human side to the FCNEU. According to him, the producers did a good job of portraying this drug enforcement team as more than just tough guys who bust drug dealers all day.
"They captured us as we really are. We're family men who like to tease each other, get together for barbecues and have a good laugh just like our neighbor next door," Lucas said.
Lucas says that in an ideal world, a show like "Methbusters" wouldn't be necessary. However, it was important for him and the team at the FCNEU to take this on because it shows the debilitating effect of meth on people young and old.
"I hope that the program sends a very strong message - meth destroys lives," Lucas said.