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Police discover condemned home as site of meth lab

A home previously condemned due to a lack of running water was raided by the Central Michigan Enforcement Team on Feb. 28. Authorities focused on the home in Ionia - an hour and 20 minutes outside Kalamazoo - after discovering that the residence was the location of a meth lab.

Four people were arrested, three men and a woman, all age 22. The men were charged with the manufacture of methamphetamines, while the woman was charged with operating a meth lab. They may face additional charges as well. They are all awaiting trial at the Ionia County Jail. Police are still investigating the case.

State and federal laws make it a crime to manufacture illegal drugs such as meth. The actual charges and penalties that a person can face depend on the type of drug and the amount produced. Meth requires the use of household chemicals and laboratory equipment in order to manufacture it. In fact, many states restrict the purchase of common meth-making chemicals such as ephedrine. Those accused of buying ephedrine can be placed under scrutiny.

There are two types of drug possession laws: simple possession, when a person had a small amount of a drug on him or her for personal use only, and possession with intent to distribute. When people go to the trouble of manufacturing a drug themselves, this typically means that they intend to produce large amounts to sell for a profit. Because meth is a highly addictive drug and possession with intent to distribute is a more serious crime, a person accused of maintaining a meth lab can face many years in prison. A strong defense is needed to reduce the charges.

Source: WLNS, "Four Arrested in Connection to a Meth Lab," March 1, 2013

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