FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Fort Wayne police discovered a 'one pot' meth lab inside a home in the 4400 block of Weisser Park Avenue Thursday evening.
According to Fort Wayne Police Department Sergeant Mark Brooks, officers were called to the home for a reported burglary in progress just before 6 p.m.
Brooks said in a statement that 24-year-old James C. Francis called out to a neighbor because he had two people trapped in his basement. When officers were searching the home they found an active meth lab.
Brooks said officers never found an intruder inside the home and there was no sign of forced entry.
The Fort Wayne Police Department Meth Suppression Unit was called to investigate the meth lab. The team located additional items related to prior methamphetamine labs and the chemicals associated with production of the drug, according to Brooks.
The meth team neutralized the labs.
Investigators never found evidence of a break-in and do not believe anyone other than the resident was inside the house, according to Brooks.
Brooks said paranoia is a common side effect of methamphetamine substance abuse.
Francis now faces several felony drug-related charges, including: manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of two or more precursors, maintaining a common nuisance, dumping of controlled waste, possession of marijuana, and possession of paraphernalia.
Rise In Meth Lab Busts
This recent bust is the 55th meth lab investigation by Fort Wayne police this year, which is up from last year. Officer Michael Joyner said there were only 34 meth busts in 2012. Officer Joyner said they're able to make these busts because of people calling them in.
"Yeah, 55 this year so far, but in large part, people are recognizing the precursors. There by, we're able to intervene," he said.
Meth Laboratory Indicators
The equipment and processes used to produce meth can also reveal the existence of a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, here are some indicators of a meth lab:
- Propane tanks with fittings that have turned blue.
- Occupants of the residence constantly going outside to smoke.
- Strong smell of urine or unusual chemical smells such as ether, ammonia or acetone.
- An usual amount of cold tablet containers that list ephedrine or pseudoephedrine as ingredients.
- Jars containing clear liquid with a white or red colored solid on the bottom.
- Jars containing iodine or dark shiny metallic purple crystals inside of jars.
- Jars 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.
- Bottles or jars with rubber tubing attached.
- Glass cookware or frying pans containing a powdery residue.
- An large number of cans of camp fuel, paint thinner, acetone, starter fluid, lye, and drain cleaners containing sulfuric acid or bottles containing muriatic acid.
- Large amounts of lithium batteries, especially ones that have been stripped.
- Soft silver or gray metallic ribbon (in chunk form) stored in oil or kerosene.
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