Meth lab bustedPublished 8:38pm Wednesday, January 18, 2012
An investigation launched earlier this week made significant strides Wednesday afternoon when the Selma Police and Fire departments combined to shut down a meth lab at 136 Grove Lane.
Arrests made Monday in connection to methamphetamine led officers to the source, Selma Chief of Police William T. Riley said.
“We made an arrest the other day in reference to some individuals dealing with meth and the investigation led us to Grove Lane,” he said. “Detectives secured a search warrant in reference to looking for a meth lab, a plan of action was put into place, and we called in Chief (Mike) Stokes and his crew to use their expertise in this area.”
Keith Neely, 36, was taken into custody and has been charged with unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance. Riley also said paraphernalia was confiscated during the bust.
Unlike some drug raids, Stokes said securing the perimeter of an area where a meth lab exists can be complicated and dangerous.
“The inherent danger is there,” he said. One pound of meth will produce five to six pounds of toxic waste, which is a problem. The residue from meth gets embedded in the carpet, furniture and walls so it’s not just in an isolated area. The whole house becomes contaminated.”
Residue from the lab is not only a danger for the resident, Stokes said. It can become a danger to the entire neighborhood depending on the methods of waste disposal.
“They dispose of the toxic waste, but they are not disposing of it properly,” he said. “It’s going into the yard, storm drains, trash cans. The contamination can become broad quickly.”
Though the lab was confiscated and an arrest has been made, Riley said the department might still have work to do.
“The investigation is ongoing and we are looking at some other suspects as well,” he said.
Following the arrest of Neely, the fire department’s HAZMAT unit was called to the scene. The unit conducted a walk-through and deemed the area safe.
A cleanup crew was also called in to sweep through the area Wednesday night.