The Petersburg Police Department received a call from a concerned citizen Sunday, May 5 reporting a possible portable Methamphetamine lab.
After further investigation, PPD, with the assistance of SEACAD and the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement, determined it was a portable lab.
“A family was out hiking in the Noseeum and Lumber Street area,” Petersburg Police Chief Jim Agner stated. “They found a backpack and looked inside. They suspected it was a meth lab, picked it up, took it to the road and called police.”
Agner also stated that he did not feel the pack had been dumped there, but was being hidden in preparation for an active lab.
“It looked as if they were gathering what was needed and they were about three quarters of the way there,” Agner stated. “They were missing some key ingredients.”
PPD Investigator Kalin Rosse contacted the Drug Enforcement Agency for the specific manner in which to dispose of the supplies.
“The regulations have become less stringent recently in the disposal of these substances,” Agner stated. “They are, after all, everyday things that can be found under any household sink for the most part.”
According to Agner, however, the mixing of these ingredients can make them extremely volatile and very dangerous.
“The department and I are very thankful to the citizens that reported this,” Agner said. “But anyone finding something like this, please don't pick it up, it could be very dangerous.”
Agner explained that, in this case the lab was not active, but in some instances these labs are set off to the side to let them take care of themselves and if they don't explode then they come back later for the finished product.
“When these ingredients are combined there is a certain amount of danger involved and the mixture of Methamphetamine continues to evolve,” Agner stated. “If everything is shaken up correctly and stays correct it makes Meth, but if one thing goes wrong, it could be extremely dangerous to an innocent bystander just coming across a backpack.”
Appropriate measures were taken and the lab was destroyed. The case is currently under investigation.