Archive for Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Officers bust in on ‘cooking’ meth lab

March 20, 2002

Leavenworth County sheriff's officers on Friday raided a meth lab where cooking was in progress.

Undersheriff Dave Zoellner said that's a first.

"They were actually sitting and cooking when we made entry," Zoellner said. "We've never done that before."

Zoellner said the raid was conducted in a garage that has living quarters at 19151 166th Street, just north of the intersection of U.S. Highway 24-40 and 166th Street.

When officers arrived, two of the men were inside the house and the third was walking in a field south of the house. Zoellner said officers confiscated what is believed to be 2 grams of methamphetamine, which would have a street value of about $300.

Mark Ocamb, 41, John Zimmerman, 43, and Joseph Nick Jr., 41, all of Basehor, were charged Monday in Leavenworth County District Court with unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of ephedrine/pseudoephedrine as a precursor to making methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, felony possession of drug paraphernalia, no Kansas drug tax stamp and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

The men's next court appearance is set for Monday.

Zoellner said that because of the chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, that officers did not anticipate cooking would be in progress.

"We're not used to walking in on anyone sitting there cooking we really didn't plan it that way," Zoellner said. "We like to go in after the fact because there are too many things that can happen."

To decontaminate the men before taking them to the Leavenworth County Jail, officers led them to the front yard where, with the assistance of Fairmount Township firefighters who held a tarp, the men took off their clothes and then showered with water sprayed from a fire truck. Then, the men donned hazardous-material paper suits to wear to jail.

Zoellner said 16 sheriff's department officers and one Kansas Bureau of Investigation agent assisted with the raid. In addition, Fairmount Township firefighters, Leavenworth County Emergence Medical Service, Leavenworth County Emergency Management and Haz-Mat Response Inc., responded.

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