Police bust meth lab in condo complex

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Two people are in custody and expected to face federal charges Thursday following the discovery of a meth lab in the garage of a Walled Lake condominium complex.

Walled Lake Police Chief Paul Shakinas said his officers received a tip about 8 p.m. Wednesday that there was a strong chemical aroma coming from a garage in the 200 block of Legato Drive, near Maple Road and Pontiac Trail.

“One of my officers who is assigned to a federal drug task force went to the scene and immediately recognized that it was meth (methamphetamine),” said Shakinas. “It was being ‘cooked’ right in the garage. A substantial amount of meth was found in the garage and inside the condominium.”

Police evacuated the remainder of the building — about 10 units — and took a 35-year-old woman and a 41-year-old man into custody, Shakinas said, noting the woman was uncooperative and had to handcuffed.

Identities were not released pending criminal charges.

The woman’s two daughters, aged 8 and 9 years old, were found inside the condo unharmed, he said. A Walled Lake officer and a DEA officer both complained of breathing difficulty and were later examined and released from an area hospital.

“That drug has been known to cause explosions — we may have averted a real tragedy,” said Shakinas.

Residents were not permitted to return to their homes until 7:30 a.m. Thursday he said. No other injuries were reported.

The two adults were turned over to the DEA and the children to Child Protective Services for placement with relatives. Michigan State Police completed a full clean up and removal of the lab Thursday morning.

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug which can cause psychotic behavior in the user. The drug dates back to the late 1800s and was even distributed and used by German soldiers and Luftwaffe pilots in combat missions during World War II.

Its manufacture was dramatized in the Breaking Bad TV series about a former science teacher who goes into the recreational drug business.

“In 16 years I cannot recall any meth labs in Walled Lake,” said Shakinas. “During an arrest this summer we found someone in possession of meth and that was rare.”

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

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