Out of op­er­a­tion

Man and woman fac­ing charges af­ter po­lice un­cover meth lab in Sum­mer­side

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY NANCY MACPHEE

The first metham­phetamine lab lo­cated by po­lice in P.E.I. is now out of op­er­a­tion.

The small-scale lab was un­cov­ered dur­ing a search late last week of a Sum­mer­side home, one that po­lice will only say is si­t­u­ated in a res­i­den­tial area of the city’s down­town.

In that home, wrapped in a baby’s di­a­per, po­lice found hun­dreds of tablets of speed, the com­mon street name for metham­phetamine.

That di­a­per and the pills are now ev­i­dence in an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion that po­lice say will re­sult in charges against a man and woman, both from Sum­mer­side, for traf­fick­ing speed and pro­duc­ing the drug.

As a re­sult of Thurs­day’s search, a 29-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man, both Sum­mer­side res­i­dents, were ar­rested.

The small-scale meth lab “is con­sis­tent with what they call the one-pot method,” ex­plained Cpl. Andy Cook, head of the Prince District JFO Drug Unit, “be­cause it takes place usu­ally in a two-litre Coke bot­tle or a small wa­ter bot­tle-type plas­tic bot­tle.

“There are key in­gre­di­ents that get com­bined in there, and we did lo­cate enough that we should be lay­ing charges for pro­duc­tion of metham­phetamine.”

Other charges will likely in­clude pos­ses­sion of metham­phetamine for the pur­pose of traf­fick­ing.

Cook, who, in a re­cent in­ter­view with TC Me­dia, noted the preva­lence of speed in Prince County, specif­i­cally Sum­mer­side, said he isn’t sur­prised to un­cover a meth lab in op­er­a­tion in the city.

“I thought it was only a mat­ter of time be­fore we did find one,” added the vet­eran drug en­force­ment of­fi­cer. “Th­ese are small, user-based type labs, so we would only be talk­ing about small low-gram lev­els here.”

Along with speed tablets, the num­ber of which has yet to be tab­u­lated, po­lice found a small quan­tity of steroids and a taser, one, said Cook, that would “give a small shock” and is a pro­hib­ited weapon.

He did say the pres­ence of the meth lab, even one small in size, is wor­ri­some and can be dan­ger­ous.

“The method be­ing used is of great con­cern to us. I am a clan­des­tine lab in­ves­ti­ga­tor my­self, and th­ese labs fre­quently end up with a fire and ex­plo­sion,” added Cook. “The chem­i­cal pro­cesses used are un­sta­ble. It is not a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment.”

He couldn’t in­di­cate how long the meth lab was op­er­a­tional, but he did say that po­lice were “look­ing at this place since the sum­mer.”

Cook said busts like th­ese, he hoped, should be more fre­quent.

“I am hope­ful that in­creased fo­cus on it, both within the com­mu­nity and by the po­lice, would hope­fully de­crease the amount of drug here.”

Cook would not com­ment on whether oth­ers could be ar­rested.

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