Comments Off on Police bust Methamphetamine ‘wash lab’ in Phoenix neighborhood

PHOENIX — Police busted an unusual methamphetamine operation in a West Valley neighborhood Thursday, netting $100,000 worth of the drug and two arrests.

Phoenix police were conducting a routine traffic stop in the area of 75th Avenue and Indian School Road when they discovered a large-scale “wash lab.”


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Police say crystal meth is not made at a wash lab; it is taken there to be converted into a different kind of meth with a higher street value.

The meth recovered from the home was in a more pure form known as “ice” or “glass.”

Police say cartels smuggle crystal meth across the Arizona-Mexico border and into seemingly normal neighborhoods where “washers” dissolve the drug into household chemicals like acetone. The mixture then evaporates and forms ice.

Wash labs are as dangerous and explosive as meth labs but are much harder to detect, police say.

Phoenix police Sgt. Don Sherrard said meth labs usually leave a trail of supplies needed to make the drug, such as pseudoephedrine, a decongestant.

“In this case, they’ve already got the finished meth,” he said. “All they’ve got to do is get a 5-gallon can of acetone or alcohol, which is easy to do at a home improvement store without drawing a whole bunch of attention.”

Police seized about $100,000 worth of meth from the home and say the wash lab was turning out at least that amount of the drug every week.

Two rooms appeared to be completely dedicated to the washing process.

Two people had been arrested in connection with the wash lab Thursday night.

While neighbors did notice some unusual traffic in the area, police say best way to detect a wash lab is the smell of acetone.

“There are a lot more out there than we’re aware of or that we’re busting, but we’re doing everything we can to follow up on the leads and get them shut down,” Sherrard said.



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