Members of the fire paramedic service’s hazardous materials unit and the police’s clandestine lab unit were called to Pembina Highway and Ducharme Road in St. Norbert after officers pulled the suspect’s vehicle over shortly before midnight Monday evening.
“Suddenly, these guys with full suits and the masks were starting to look in the trunk. It took a while and then they started taking out all these bottles,” said Katy Lamb, who witnessed the response by crews.
Police said the car was driving in an erratic manner near Pembina before being pulled over. Police also determined its insurance had lapsed.
The 27-year-old male driver appeared to be under the influence of a drug, said officers.
The vehicle was searched and a knife was found, along with chemicals linked to making methamphetamine, said police.
“The mixture of the chemicals that were in the trunk — had one tipped over, had they came together there, certainly would have been the possibility of an explosion,” said Const. Natalie Aitken, a spokesperson for Winnipeg police.
At this point, police aren’t sure if the car was a mobile meth lab or was being used to transport chemicals to a lab. It’s believed officers also found a Minnesota license plate inside the vehicle.
Brendan Kyle Shepert, 27, faces a number of charges, including possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, failing to comply with conditions of an undertaking and possessing a controlled drug, along with Highway Traffic Act charges, said police.
Traffic was reduced on northbound and southbound Pembina Highway while police responded, but re-opened around noon Tuesday.