One person is in custody Wednesday after a call about a domestic dispute revealed a suspected methamphetamine lab in Bellefonte.
Bellefonte and Spring Township police responded to a 911 call at about 8:30 a.m. regarding a domestic incident at 437 Halfmoon St., Bellefonte police Chief Shawn Weaver said. Reports had indicated the man had left the residence.
He was identified a short distance away and when approached, began acting “fidgety,” Weaver said. The man allegedly attempted to reach into his pocket and hand off a package to a female friend.
The man was ordered to lie down and was searched, Weaver said, and was found with “an amount” of Suboxone, which is used to treat opioid addictions, and methamphetamine.
“Whenever we have a case like this,” Weaver said, “we want to make darn sure that there is not a cook or lab facility used to produce methamphetamine in our community. That’s a huge environmental and human safety factor.”
Questioning led police back to the residence, where the female — identified as the house tenant — consented to a search, Weaver said. Officers immediately noticed certain materials and chemicals used to make methamphetamine.
Officers backed out and contacted the state police clandestine lab team, he said. According to the state police website, the Clandestine Lab Response Team includes enlisted personnel and forensic science experts who respond to “illegal methamphetamine production sites to contain and clean up” the potentially dangerous materials.
The local state police strike force responded as well, he said. The search of the house concluded that a “specific amount of methamphetamine” was being produced in the attic of the house.
Police also learned the man had been depositing residual waste somewhere locally, Weaver said, and hope to find out where and in what amount. The community is asked to report if anyone finds any “strange powdery substances.”
The suspect was allegedly using a “one-pot method” to manufacture methamphetamine, Weaver said. No actual cook was taking place at the time, but if there had been an actual burning pot, nearby residents would have been evacuated.
“Meth is the most addictive drug we know of,” Weaver said. “It’s a state problem, it’s a national problem, and this is the second one we’ve had in Bellefonte.”
Weaver said about a month ago a lab had been discovered not too far from the lab found Wednesday.
The man was taken into custody and is housed at the Centre County Correctional Facility, Weaver said. Charges are pending following an investigation.
The female resident was not taken into custody, Weaver said, but will be charged as well.