GALLIPOLIS — The remnants of multiple methamphetamine labs were uncovered at three separate “dump sites” by the Gallipolis Police Department this weekend.
The first meth lab dump site was discovered on Saturday afternoon after law enforcement was advised to search the area of Mill Creek Road near the city limits for possible discarded drug paraphernalia.
While checking the area, an officer discovered two plastic grocery bags containing what was believed to be “one pot” meth labs.
The officer contacted a deputy with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office trained in neutralizing methamphetamine labs who responded to the scene and confirmed that both bags contained meth labs.
The deputy, with the assistance of an officer with the Middleport Police Department also trained in neutralizing labs, dismantled the labs so that they could be safely disposed of.
Additional methamphetamine labs were discovered at two locations within the city limits on Sunday afternoon.
According to a report filed with the police department, a second group of clandestine labs were located by a pedestrian at approximately 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Reportedly, an anonymous caller contacted the police department after they had located a backpack in a dumpster behind Johnson’s Mobile Home Sales on Eastern Avenue. The disposed backpack contained what was believed to be a methamphetamine lab and the materials used to manufacture the illegal drug.
When an officer arrived on scene, a green and black backpack was located and placed on the ground beside the dumpster.
The officer removed himself from the area and contacted meth lab technicians from the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office to respond.
When a deputy arrived on scene, a total of 12 one-pot meth labs that were contained within various sized pop bottles were discovered in the bag.
According to the report, none of the bottles contained active meth labs.
The waste was neutralized by the deputy and properly disposed of.
A final meth lab was discovered at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Regency Inn located on Upper River Road in Gallipolis.
An officer was dispatched to the area on a report that there was a suspicious duffle bag located behind the motel.
The officer located the bag in a field behind motel and observed a Gatorade bottle in the exterior pocket of the bag. The bottle contained possible waste product consistent with methamphetamine manufacturing.
The officer secured the scene and a sheriff’s office meth lab technician later responded, successfully neutralizing the lab and disposing of the waste.
Within the bag, the deputy also discovered other items commonly used in the manufacturing of meth.
According to the report, a receipt was located within the bag for the purchase of Sudafed, which contains pseudophedrine — an active ingredient in the production of meth.
The purchase was reportedly made at Rite Aid Pharmacy in Point Pleasant, W.Va.
No arrests were made in connection with any of the meth lab discoveries this weekend.
Following the discovery of the multiple meth labs in Gallipolis, the Gallipolis Police Department issued a press release concerning the recognition of possible methamphetamine dump sites.
According to the statement, some of the most common items to look for a clandestine lab dump sites are:
• Bottles or jars with rubber tubing attached.
• Propane tanks with fittings that have turned blue or green.
• Strong smell of urine or unusual chemicals smells such as ether, ammonia or acetone.
• An unusual amount of cold tablet containers that list ephedrine or pseudophedrine as ingredients.
• Jars or bottles containing liquid with a white or red-colored solid on the bottom.
• Jars or bottles containing iodine or dark, shiny, metallic purple crystals inside the bottles.
• Jars or bottles containing red phosphorus or a fine, dark red or purple powder.
• Coffee filters containing a white pasty substance, a dark red sludge, or small amounts of shiny white crystals.
• Bottles containing sulfuric, muriatic or hydrochloric acid.
• Glass cookware or frying pans containing a powdery substance.
• A large number of cans of camp fuel, paint thinner, acetone, starter fluid, lye or drain cleaners containing sulfuric acid or bottles containing muriatic acid.
• Large numbers of lithium batteries, especially ones that have been stripped.
• Soft silvery or gray metallic ribbon (in chunk form) stored in oil or kerosene.
The police department further advises that any or all of these items may be present when a meth lab is disposed of, and they may be found in any type of bag or lying separately where someone has thrown them out.
The public is further advised that if they locate what they suspect is a meth lab dump site, they should immediately leave the area and contact 911. Calls can be made anonymously, but individuals are advised to please provide enough information about an accurate location of the site so that it may be located.