Police stop mobile meth lab on square
The 100 block of West Washington Street was closed shortly after noon today when joint drug task forces found two suspects allegedly cooking crystal methamphetamine in their vehicle.
Washington Police Chief Greg Goodman said the task force members had been following the suspect vehicle and that the pursuit had ended in front of the Washington Public Library. The Washington Fire Department responded and set up a decontamination booth on the south side of Central Park as officers worked to secure the scene from contamination from the chemicals used in the process. Goodman said that one of the suspects had allegedly been holding a bottle containing volatile chemicals on his lap.
“Any time we have someone in contact with a meth lab, they have to be decontaminated,” Goodman said. “That is for their safety and our safety. It is bad stuff; that is why everything needs to be decontaminated.”
The names of the suspects and what they have been charged with have not been released, but Goodman said that they are in custody and they are from Washington County. The suspects were sprayed with water in the booth made of tarps before being brought out in black and white jumpsuits to sit on park benches. Two dogs that were in the vehicle were also decontaminated.
Goodman said that the officers who made the arrests – members of Muscatine and Washington/Louisa Drug Task Forces and the State Division of Narcotics Enforcement — had lab technicians with them who secured the scene as soon as the vehicle was pulled over. Officers in protective gear were seen examining the contents of the vehicle. The police department secured the street.
Goodman said more information would be available at a later time. For more information, see the Dec. 6 edition of The Washington Evening Journal.