The next time you stay the night in a hotel room, be sure to check the coffee pot before making your morning brew. Drug enforcement officials say that the generic Mr. Coffee pots found in most hotel rooms have become a popular place to make meth. The pots become mini labs in which dealers mix their chemicals and leave on the burner to cook, leaving a dark, reddish-orange stain.
This is not the first time that meth labs have been set up in unexpected places. As long as manufacturers can get their hands on pseudoephedrine, used to treat colds and sinus infections, the rest of the ingredients can be found in common household materials like drain cleaner and rubbing alcohol.
Here are five strange places that people set up meth labs.
In Their Cars
A very common method of preparing meth, especially recently, is known as the “one-pot” or “shake and bake” method. Manufacturers mix their ingredients in a two-liter soda bottle, seal it tightly, and flip it upside down to create the chemical reaction needed to produce meth. While this method does produce smaller quantities, it is popular because of how easy it is and the fact that it can be done anywhere, even the car. In fact, this is one of the most common places to use the one-pot method, and preparers discard the bottle from the window afterwards.
The one-pot method is one of the most dangerous ways to produce meth. Not only is the toxic waste often left in places where kids and other innocent people might stumble upon it, the procedure itself can be deadly. One wrong move and the whole thing can explode, sending the car up in flames.
Whether they live in a house, apartment or trailer, meth manufacturers do not hesitate to put their homes at risk by setting up a meth lab. Oftentimes they not only put themselves at risk, they endanger their children as well. Lab explosions are not uncommon, and they take lives.
Signs of a meth lab in someone’s house include:
- Blacked out windows.
- A large number of people coming and going, especially at strange hours of the night.
- Strange smells, especially ammonia (like cat urine).
- An unusual amount of garbage coming from the home, especially empty containers of drain cleaner, kitty litter bags, peroxide bottles, cold medicine packages, iodine and plastic tubing.
It is not uncommon for former meth lab homes to be hastily cleaned up and sold, leaving the next homeowners with health problems from the chemicals that seep into the walls and floors.
A meth lab can be set up in a hotel room using a hot plate as a source of heat. This is a popular place to set up a lab because it is so easy to abandon.
A 2012 fire in an Ohio nursing home that killed one person and caused several injuries was caused by a clandestine meth lab, according to the authorities on the scene. While full details were not disclosed, it is believed that a visitor brought the materials for the one-pot method in a shopping bag. It is unknown how long the lab was operating.
A number of events involving meth have occurred in Wal-Marts across the country. One of the most notorious was when a woman at an Oklahoma store gathered her ingredients from throughout the store and began preparing meth on a store shelf. Manufacturers have also been caught setting up mobile labs in the parking lot, as in a recent case in Lebanon, Tennessee.