Rifle man arrested for alleged meth lab
RIFLE – A Rifle resident was arrested last week for suspected methamphetamine production in his home.Brent Allen Lucas, 44, is charged with possession of one or more chemicals with intent to manufacture a schedule II controlled substance. Members of the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team (TRIDENT) made the arrest Thursday after consulting with members of the Rifle Police Department.TRIDENT members and Rifle police went to the home and conducted a consensual search of the residence, finding instructions for manufacturing methamphetamine, red phosphorus, hydrogen peroxide, starting fluid, muriatic acid and acetone, according to an agency press release. All of these things are components of a meth lab, the release said.The charge is a felony and could result in two to four years in prison with a $3,000 to $750,000 fine. The release said that Lucas was also arrested for two warrants out of Washington state, one for alleged possession of methamphetamine and marijuana and a probation violation, and the other for attempted theft, conspiracy and trespass.”As far as I know, this is the first (meth lab-related arrest) we’ve been involved in in this area,” said Gene Schilling, chairman of TRIDENT’s board of directors. “It seems to be a more up-and-coming problem.”Schilling said people have called to report strange, acrid smells that could be related to meth production, but labs have never been found. In Denver, however, Schilling said the problem with meth production is severe. The area’s North Metro Task Force says it is spending more time being reactive to suspected meth labs than they are being proactive about any other drug.Officers from TRIDENT and the Drug Enforcement Administration secured the scene in Rifle, and Denver-based Coldwell Environmental Associates Inc. disposed of the hazardous materials and chemicals allegedly at the site.One rural community fights drug problemIn Craig, the police chief said his community has a “significant problem” with methamphetamine.To combat the problem, a number of citizens decided it was time to form a community-based task force to get people involved with how to deal with meth use, labs and sales. Annette Gianinetti is one of the founding members of Communities Overcoming Meth Abuse.”Our mission statement is to identify, educate, rehabilitate and eradicate meth in our community,” she said. “At this point we have a police officer doing tons of public awareness classes with us.”Gianinetti said she doesn’t think that meth use is more rampant in rural areas. She said the drug is everywhere, but it’s more recognizable in small communities where people know each other better. She said she thinks that once people recognize meth labs and use of the drug, they’ll start seeing it more often.Silverton is being suedSilverton Mountain Ski Area, located deep in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado, has broken the mold of what American ski destinations can offer their guests.But it has also broken the rights of an Aspen landowner, as most of these guests trespass on private property. Aspen resident Jim Jackson owns several mining claims totaling close to 155 acres within the ski area’s boundaries. The backcountry-centric resort, also known as the Silverton Outdoor Learning and Recreation Center, was opened by Aaron Brill of Core Mountain Enterprises in 2002.Some of Jackson’s property lies no more than a few ski lengths from the top of the area’s only lift. Other claims stretch across pristine bowls, while other holdings comprise most of the drainage at the base of the mountain.The Bureau of Land Management and San Juan County were made aware of the large amount of land owned by Jackson within the proposal area, but for whatever reason they did not take it into account. According to a February 2004 letter from Jackson’s attorney, Charles B. White, to the county commissioners, several instances of trespass on Jackson’s land by the ski area and its clients have been documented over the years. Images can even be found on the area’s website that show guides and customers trespassing on Jackson’s land.Avalanche control work, which is conducted by Silverton guides by necessity, also frequently occurs on Jackson’s property. Grassroots TV funding cut in AspenPitkin County will likely cut $15,000 in funding for GrassRoots TV as officials search for an alternative way to support the public channel.Funds supplied to the station from the county’s dedicated health and human services and community nonprofit tax will almost certainly be trimmed when the county adopts its 2005 budget, commissioners said Tuesday.The commissioners admitted the cut violated the spirit of a five-year property tax approved in 2002 that dedicates nearly $1 million annually to various nonprofits. Finding alternative revenue for GrassRoots TV will be a priority, commissioners agreed.
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