(MITCHELL) - An employee at Crystal Clean Car Care in Mitchell found the remains of a meth lab in the dumpster after it started smoking.
According to Mitchell Police Chief Mike Hardman, Mark Neal, an employee at the car wash, called police at 11:55 a.m. reporting they found what they believed was a meth lab and it was smoking.
Neal told police a person was going through the dumpster gathering used oil filters to recycle and that is when they noticed smoke and discovered the lab.
Police contacted the Indiana State Police Clandestine Team to dispose of the lab that was the shake and bake or one-pot meth lab and precursors used to make the drug.
The person used an old Sunkist 2-liter bottle to make the meth in.
Hardman says these labs pose a new danger to communities.
Using the one-pot method means that meth cooks can make meth in one sealed container which is generally flipped upside-down to cause the reaction needed to turn several toxic ingredients into meth. Hardman says this method generally produces meth in smaller quantity, but doesn't make it any less dangerous.
The chemical reaction going on inside the container (which can be anything from a Coleman fuel can to a soda bottle) causes an extremely high amount of pressure to build up within the container after being shaken; this method can cause a pretty large explosion.
Police says the biggest danger in relation to this method is the fact that it is fast and portable.
"So portable in fact, that it is most common to find people using this method to make meth in their car," Hardman says. "They generally drive around while the meth is being made to release the fumes and when the process is over, some 40 minutes later, they simply chuck the used container filled with toxic chemical residue out of the window. Aside from the environmental impact this has, it also poses a hazard to children that naturally want to explore and pick up the things they find."
The remnants of the chemicals that remain in the container are generally muddy brown in color. If you suspect someone of making meth using this method Hardman says contact authorities as soon as possible.
"These labs are ticking time bombs," Hardman says. "If you come across a discarded container don't touch it - contact the police. They will have to call the clandestine team to clean up the lab."
The drug had been taken from the lab that was found in the dumpster, but there was residue and precursors that were still active, causing it to smoke, Hardman says.
Hardman says because the lab was contained to the dumpster it made for easy clean up, but was still a dangerous situation.
Anyone with information about the lab is asked to call police.
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