Jul 16, 2013 12:00 AM by Steven Albritton
With four meth lab busted in the past three weeks, Metro Narcotics agents are saying it's a constant fight to keep these drugs out of Lafayette Parish. Whenever a suspected meth lab is reported, the Haz-Mat team is called to the scene.
On June 28th, a suspected lab was busted in the Youngsville area. Deputies say, the lab was actually located behind a home in a wooded area. Marcus Hebert was arrested in connection with that lab. Only days later on July 3rd, the Haz-Mat team was called to a home near Lafayette High. Caleb Landry and Erica Danos were taken into custody in connection with that suspected lab. Also on a July 3rd, the Carencro Fire Department was called to a fire at a camp ground. Minimal damage was done to the home, but after an investigation by the State Fire Marshall it is believed a meth lab was the cause of the fire. On July 10th, deputies were again called to a suspected lab. This investigation took them to Motel 6 off of the Evangeline Thruway. Deputies arrested Jay Calhoun for running a suspected lab out of the motel.
"There are places that have it worse than we have it here, but it is a problem and it's something were dealing with," Metro Narcotics Agent John Babin said.
Babin says, these meth labs are usually small in nature and intended for personal use. Although these busts were only days apart, Babin says there doesn't appear to be a connection.
A lot of what makes finding and busting meth labs so difficult is the advances in how to make it. What used to take 15 or more items to make now requires less than 10. Not only that, but Lafayette Fire Department Haz-Mat Chief Chad Sonnier says now some of the tell tale signs of a meth lab are now gone.
"Years ago meth labs were very easily distinguished from a distinct smell, a chemical smell, but with the new shake and bake method everybody's using now, The smell is almost obsolete," Chief Sonnier said.
Now more than ever, Sonnier says, it's to obtain the ingredients to cook meth. It's also easy to keep them out of site.
"Recently, we've had a string of meth labs that have been in homes and dwellings, and we have seen them in cars. The trend is they are very easy and portable now. So, we basically see individuals making them mobile," Sonnier said.
Metro Narcotics says, if you see something out of the ordinary happening such as someone burning excess trash or dumping products in sewers, call police.