BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL
A Vermilion County Crime Stoppers tip led to the shutdown of a large methamphetamine lab on Tuesday.
Five people were arrested Tuesday and as many as four arrests were expected on Wednesday as a result of the bust, according to Vermilion County Metropolitan Enforcement Group spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Crowder.
According to Crowder, a Crime Stoppers tip led VMEG members to a home in the 600 block of South Stewart Street on the southern edge of Danville. Inside, law enforcement found a large meth cooking operation that is believed to been in operation for quite a while.
Officers found 250 gas generators, 300 pounds of meth-manufacturing materials and 900 grams of finished power meth product worth an estimated $9,000.
“It was pretty big,” Crowder said of the operation.
Ordinarily, a state meth response team is called in to handle clean up of toxic meth lab locations. But because of the size of the South Stewart Street lab, Crowder said state officials called in a federal contractor with the Drug Enforcement Agency to assist in the handling the situation.
As a result of information gathered at the Stewart Street bust, VMEG agents were able to get a search warrant and discovered a second meth lab in the 100 block of West 13th Street in Tilton, Crowder said. More meth-manufacturing materials were found at that scene as well.
Residents had attempted to point out the Stewart Street lab previously.
“We’d had Crime Stoppers tips in the past and tried to follow up and not been successful,” Crowder said. “(Tuesday) they were able to make contact and caught the people.”
VMEG agents continued with follow-up investigations on Wednesday, Crowder said with other names that could lead to additional warrants and arrests.
According to jail logs, the five taken into custody on Tuesday were charged with participation in meth manufacturing, conspiring to manufacture meth, possession of meth; possession with intent to deliver meth; unlawful possession of anhydrous ammonia; and illegal use of property for the manufacturing of meth.
Names of those suspects expected to be arrested on Wednesday were not immediately available.