The Boone County Sheriff’s Department discovered a methamphetamine lab in a vehicle while investigating a suspicious activity report Wednesday morning.
According to a news release issued by the sheriff’s department, officers received a suspicious activity report from a local retail hardware business in Columbia.
After locating the vehicle in question, deputies followed it to several other retail stores in Columbia, eventually stopping the car in the parking lot of the Crossroads West Shopping Center.
During a search of the vehicle, a complete and active meth lab representing all the stages of the manufacturing process was revealed. Deputies specifically trained to dismantle and process meth labs made the contents of the car safe and collected the evidence.
Meth manufacturers are able to garner less suspicion with vehicle-based labs than with stationary labs, Boone County Detective Tom O’Sullivan said.
“Stationary labs and rolling labs are equally dangerous,” O’Sullivan said. “The problem with a stationary lab is it’s easier to detect. A neighbor could call in or someone could see something. The stationary lab is a problem for 'meth makers' because they are somewhat easier to detect. Neighbors call the cops and meth making gives off a tremendous, lingering odor which causes suspicion. Many meth labs have been found because people called the fire department thinking there was a gas leak.”
The two occupants of the vehicle, Jonathan David Wadlow, 29, and Joseph W Turner, 26, were arrested. Wadlow was arrested on charges of driving with a revoked license. Turner was arrested on charges of an outstanding felony drug warrant out of St. Charles County. Both men were arrested on charges of manufacturing a controlled substance.
“I think these guys knew the game was up as soon as we pulled up,” O’Sullivan said. “They didn’t give us any trouble or try to resist arrest.”
According to the sheriff’s department website, several other meth-related incidents have occurred during the last few months
The sheriff’s department said it continues to believe meth and the related manufacturing process is a threat to the safety of citizens and quality of life in Boone County.
Anonymous tips about meth activity can be made at the sheriff’s department website.