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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 6, 2004
Gerald Tousley, Hazardous Waste Specialist, 360-867-2900
Brad Watkins, Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, 360-786-5518
John Tennis, Public Information Program Manager, 360-709-3073

Illegal Drug Lab House to be Burned Down

OLYMPIA -- A controlled burn will rid a south Thurston County neighborhood of an abandoned house that was used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.  The Bucoda Volunteer Fire Department will burn down the home on Market Street South at 12 Noon on Saturday, April 10th.

The house came to the attention of law enforcement back in February when a Crimestopper's tip lead to the discovery of an extensive meth manufacturing operation in the dilapidated structure.  Brad Watkins of the Thurston County Sheriff's Special Enforcement Team says clandestine lab materials were found in virtually every room of the house.  "Everywhere we turned in this home we found either a lab in operation or the materials needed to manufacture methamphetamine.  In addition, the toxic wastes left from the manufacture of meth were all over the place."

Two men were arrested in connection with the illegal manufacturing set up and with a second lab discovered in a home nearby.  They were taken into custody for investigation of manufacture of a controlled substance.

Thurston County environmental health specialist Gerald Tousley says there was quite a bit of damage to the home because of the lethal chemicals left behind from the creation of meth.  "We recovered 14 gallons of toxic materials from the home which is a significant amount of the highly volatile and dangerous leftovers from the meth process.  The poor condition of the home, combined with the contamination of the structure lead to the idea of burning down the house.

The owner of the home agreed to have the house burned.  The event will be used as practice training for the Bucoda Volunteer Fire Department. 

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS - Gerald Tousley can speak to issues regarding contamination of the home.  Brad Watkins can talk about the criminal investigation at the home and the extent of the meth lab activity in the area.  The house is located at 308 Market Street South in Bucoda.

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3