Methamphetamine lab busted in Lake County
LEADVILLE – Lake County sheriff’s deputies got a surprise Nov. 12 when they went looking for a drug dealer and discovered a methamphetamine drug manufacturing operation, the first such bust in the county. Lake County Sheriff Ed Holte reported that an undercover agent purchased 2.2 grams of methamphetamine in October. Based on this purchase, an arrest warrant was issued for Jonathan Canty, 35, of Leadville.When deputies of the Lake County Drug Task Force arrived at Canty’s residence, he initially refused to let them enter, sheriff’s reports said. Eventually, he allowed deputies to enter but he apparently held a knife behind his back. “He nearly got himself shot,” said Holte, who was on the scene for the bust.Deputies apparently wrestled with him and were able to subdue him without injury. Once Canty was in custody, deputies secured the house, checking that there wasn’t anyone else inside. While checking the house for accomplices, deputies noticed that there appeared to be the beginnings of a methamphetamine laboratory.The sheriff returned with a warrant to search the premises. They found significant drug paraphernalia and what they believed were bottles containing methamphetamine in various stages of production.The bottles will be sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for analysis.At this time, Canty is charged with possession and distribution of meth.It appeared Canty had downloaded instructions to manufacture meth from the internet, Holte said.Meth can be made from common household chemicals. At a recent seminar at Colorado Mountain College about creating methamphetamine, about $40 worth of cleaners and over-the-counter medications were turned into $300 of product, Holte said.Methamphetamine is manufactured by refining the ephedrine in over-the-counter cold medications. Although the manufacture of meth is easy, cleanup is hard, officials said.Residue from manufacturing meth is difficult or nearly impossible to remove. Holte said residue left from a meth manufacturing operation could create respiratory problems.The sheriff believes deputies found this lab before it went into full production. Deputies didn’t require hazardous material suits, otherwise known as Gumby suits, to enter the lab, Holte said.Given the extensive clean-up required, stopping the lab before it could go into full production may be an added bonus.Meth is increasingly available for purchase in Lake County, Holte said. Two years ago, meth wasn’t common. Last year, there were rumors that two dealers in town were supplying the drug. Pursuing one of the rumored dealers led deputies to a meth bust this spring. Methamphetamine is the fastest growing drug threat and the most prevalent synthetic drug manufactured in the United States. It is smoked, injected, snorted or taken orally.Meth users usually experience a short, intense rush, followed by a sense of euphoria that can last from anywhere between eight and 24 hours. Meth produces extra energy and stamina, an increased libido, a sense of invulnerability and a decrease in appetite.”I’m happy we were successful, but I’m not happy it’s here,” Holte said.
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