A domestic violence call Thursday morning led to the arrest of a Ukiah man suspected of dumping waste from an alleged small-scale meth lab at the old Masonite property north of Ukiah, according to authorities.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 3500 block of Running Springs Road regarding a domestic disturbance at 8:30 a.m. The victim, a 32-year-old Ukiah woman, met the deputies at Orr Springs Road and told them Jacob Parker, 30, had assaulted and injured her.
Deputies found Parker inside the home and arrested him on suspicion of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, battery with serious bodily injury and making threats.
Parker was also booked on suspicion of manufacturing a controlled substance after a search of the property turned up 200 marijuana plants, more than 100 pounds of processed marijuana, a small amount of meth and evidence of meth manufacturing, according to Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force Commander Bob Nishiyama. Parker’s bail was set at $150,000.
Parker had allegedly been making small, “personal use” quantities of methamphetamine, Nishiyama said, and agents believed he had been planning to sell the pot and use the proceeds to buy more chemicals to make methamphetamine.
Task Force agents responded to investigate when a security officer at the Old Masonite industrial plant found duffel bags containing what was later lab-confirmed to be methamphetamine cooking residue dumped behind buildings at the site in early May, according to Nishiyama.
Agents connected Parker with the dumped hazardous waste after they allegedly found paperwork inside one of the bags from a Mendocino County social services office showing he had been approved to receive food stamps, Nishiyama said.
Samples taken from the dumped bags tested positive for ephedrine, a chemical used to make methamphetamine, according to Nishiyama. The substances in the bags was still wet when authorities found them in May, he said.
Two weeks before the domestic violence incident and search, Task Force agents received information that Parker was at Mendo Mill with another man, later identified as Richard Wayne Troia, 40, of Ukiah, buying chemicals used for meth production.
Troia was arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana.
“Chemical waste is created at a rate of five times what you make,” Nishiyama said, expounding that making an ounce of meth would produce five ounces of waste.
Dumping or flushing the waste from cooking methamphetamine, which must be disposed of by hazardous waste specialists, pollutes the environment, Nishiyama said.
“Someone who is only creating personal-use amounts (of meth) is still creating an environmental hazard for us,” he said.