POLICE BEAT

MDEA investigating suspected meth lab in Presque Isle

Posted April 18, 2012, at 5:46 p.m.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine —The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency was searching a suspected methamphetamine lab here Wednesday after a 35-year-old man was hospitalized with suspicious burns.

Darrell Crandall, MDEA division commander, said Wednesday that agents executed a search warrant at an apartment on Blake Street after the 35-year-old male occupant was badly burned on Tuesday and taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland. Crandall said officials believe the burns were caused by an accidental fire created during the process of making methamphetamines by what is commonly referred to as the “one pot” method.

Agents have interviewed the injured man but no charges have been filed. The Presque Isle Police Department and the Presque Isle Fire Department were assisting MDEA agents, as was the Department of Environmental Protection.

Crandall said that agents already have found evidence of methamphetamine manufacturing as well as several loaded handguns.

Late Wednesday afternoon, he said the search of the property continued.

He said this is the second time this week that agents have handled an incident believed connected to methamphetamine manufacturing in The County.

In an unrelated incident on Monday, an employee of a Van Buren garbage disposal company was taken to the hospital after exposure to fumes and smoke from a garbage bag that allegedly contained the remnants of a meth lab.

Crandall said that the employee emptied an industrial Dumpster and one of the bags caught on fire. He attempted to put it out and inhaled fumes.

The Van Buren Fire Department secured the debris and MDEA was called in to process the evidence. That investigation also continues.

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