Meth dump sites found in Osceola County

OSCEOLA COUNTY – Two methamphetamine laboratories were found this week within Osceola County and authorities are prepared for the discovery of more as the weather warms up.

The first lab dump site was found on Monday near Highland Township, according to Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Undersheriff Justin Halladay. On Tuesday, the sheriff’s office received information of a another possible methamphetamine dump site, this time in Hersey Township.

“What this shows is that although these are probably not related, meth is a problem in the area and it isn’t central to one location — it’s all over the place,” Halladay said.

According to a news release from the Traverse Narcotics Team, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office personnel, along with responders from the Traverse Narcotics Team and the Michigan State Police Mount Pleasant Post, investigated the Hersey Township site.

TNT responders observed “chemicals, components and apparatus commonly used for the one-pot method of manufacturing methamphetamine,” the release stated.

The items were properly removed from the scene and disposed of. The investigation is ongoing regarding possible suspects connected to this incident.

As temperatures continue to warm, Halladay said the department anticipates being alerted to more methamphetamine dump sites because of the increase in people outside for various activities.

“People are in the woods, people are looking for mushrooms and people are checking their fence lines, which is how this was discovered,” Halladay said. “Everyone is moving around, mowing, cutting and picking up trash and that’s when they’ll find these labs.”

However, it’s important to be aware what the term “meth lab dump site” truly means and what it looks like, Halladay explained. A dump site could be something as inconspicuous as a pop bottle with chemicals inside or a hose attached.

“People hear 'lab' and think we’re talking about walking in the woods and finding a bunch of bottles, a burner, foil and papers, but in this case and many others, it’s just a bottle,” he said.

If a potential lab is found, it should not be touched or moved. Methamphetamine is extremely dangerous. The components used to make the drug are harmful and can produce deadly fumes.

Anyone who encounters a possible methamphetamine laboratory dump site should provide information to local police or Meceola Central Dispatch, who will alert the proper law enforcement agency.