By Mary Drier
CARO — Although a “meth house” in Indianfields Township hasn’t been officially condemned yet, it is expected to be, so it is best to avoid it.
On Jan. 8, the Michigan State Police (MSP) Post in Caro received a tip about a clandestine methamphetamine lab operating at 1505 E. Bevens Road, Caro. When troopers followed up on the tip, they found it was credible.
Methamphetamine, an illegal synthetic drug also known as “meth,” “crank,” “crystal,” “speed,” and “ice.” It stimulates the central nervous system. The effects of meth are similar to cocaine.
Because the chemicals to make methamphetamine are hazardous, the MSP Methamphetamine Team was called in to clean up the scene.
Reports have circulated for weeks that property has been condemned, but it hasn’t… at least not yet.
According to MSP Commander Lt. Mitch Krugielki the MSP does not have the authority to “condemn a site,” but the MSP Meth Team did post a notice that hazardous materials were found on the property.
During meth production, the property where it is being done can become contaminated with hazardous chemicals, and there is a strong risk of fire or explosion.
“Some very dangerous chemicals are used in making meth. They are so potent and linger for so long the house can never be reused,” said Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene. “Attempting to live in such a house would be foolish.”
Some common household chemicals used in meth lab production include flammable and volatile solvents such as: anhydrous ammonia, acetone, methanol, battery acid (sulfuric acid), ether, benzene, drain cleaner (sodium hydroxide), methylene chloride, trichloroethane, and toluene.
Because of that, condemnation procedures and/or abandoned property procedures are expected, noted Reene.
To further complicate matters, the house was being purchased on a land contract.
The person the home was being purchased from said she didn’t know it was being used as a meth lab, and she had gotten estimates on the cost to clean up and decontaminate the facility, explained the unapproved Wells Township minutes.
The property owner said “that she did not know what she was going to do with the property because of the costs involved,” stated the minutes.
Under Michigan Law property where drugs are involved can be seized, but neither the MSP or Caro City Police want to do that.
Mary Drier is a staff writer for the Tuscola County Advertiser. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.