Meth lab found abandoned behind county home
Published 8:08 am Friday, July 31, 2015
Police are investigating a meth lab that was dumped behind a county residence and discovered Thursday morning.
Officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a suspicious backpack believed to contain a meth lab. Residents of a home on Cedar Grove Road found the pack.
When officers arrived, they found a red backpack containing many of the items needed to manufacture methamphetamine, CCSD Investigator Harmon Duncan said. Among the items found were Coleman fuel, drain cleaner, salt, funnels and plastic tubing.
A green plastic bottle that was recently used to cook meth was also found in the backpack, Duncan said.
A meth lab disposal technician from the Tennessee Meth and Pharmaceutical Task Force was called to the scene to dispose of the chemical remnants found in the plastic bottle.
The bottle presented a special hazard because it still contained lithium, which is one of the chemical elements used to cook the drug, and the contents had to be burned off, Duncan said.
“It doesn’t explode, but it will create a fire,” he said. “Lithium burns at 1,200 degrees once exposed to water.”
The chemical reaction to make meth can create condensation inside the plastic bottle, Duncan said. If that condensation runs down the inside of the bottle and makes contact with any remnants of lithium it will ignite a fire, he added.
It is not known at this time who the backpack belonged to or who abandoned it behind the home, Duncan said, adding the residents of the home are not suspects.
The case is under investigation and Duncan said officers are examining video footage obtained from a nearby security camera.
If anyone has any information regarding the meth lab or the person or persons who dumped it, Duncan asked that they call him at the Carter County Sheriff’s Department at 423-542-1845.