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Troopers seize Homer meth lab in car

Posted: February 28, 2013 - 9:52pm

A common traffic violation — failure to signal a turn — led to an arrest last Saturday for methamphetamine possession. The incident shut down a side street near the Homer Post Office when in the process of the arrest an Alaska Wildlife Trooper discovered a suspected meth lab in a 26-year-old Homer man’s 2000 Oldsmobile Alero sedan.

Troopers arrested Timothy K. Igou on one count of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance. Igou could face additional charges of manufacturing meth. He is being held at Wildwood Pretrial Facility. Additional charges related to the alleged meth lab are pending.

The incident, which closed Waddell Way from about 2:45 p.m. until 10 p.m. Feb. 23, did not close the post office. The meth lab, of the “one pot” or “shake-and-bake” method, didn’t take up much space in the car, said trooper spokesperson Megan Peters.

Meth labs, particularly the shake-and-bake kind, can be highly explosive and toxic.

The lab was cleaned up by a hazardous waste team working with a private contractor under a drug clean-up program administered by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Several people reported seeing workers in hazmat, or hazardous material, suits and respirators.

According to a criminal complaint, Wildlife Trooper David Chaffin stopped Igou about 2:45 p.m. when he saw him fail to signal a right-hand turn when going from Lake Street onto the Sterling Highway. Chaffin stopped Igou on Waddell Street, the trooper wrote. After he approached Igou, Chaffin said he saw the wooden handle grip of a handgun between Igou’s legs and immediately ordered him out of the car. Chaffin did a pat-down search of Igou to make sure he didn’t have any more weapons. Troopers later identified the handgun as a pellet gun.

During the search, Chaffin said he saw a pipe in Igou’s right side jacket pocket. When asked, Igou admitted he used the pipe for smoking meth, Chaffin said. Igou consented to an additional search, and the trooper found a glass smoking pipe and a “dime” baggie of what looked to be crystal meth.

In the car, Chaffin saw in plain sight what appeared to be a meth lab, Peters said.

Troopers got a search warrant for Igou’s car and investigators from the statewide unit of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation responded and confirmed the presence of what they said was a mobile meth lab. Troopers gathered evidence and disassembled the lab. The hazmat team then collected and safely disposed of the materials.

“That gives you an idea of how volatile these substances can be,” Peters said of the necessity to have a hazmat team. “It’s not good stuff.”

According to the Alaska State Troopers 2011 Annual Drug Report on drug crimes, while meth lab busts have generally declined since 2006, the recently popularity of the one-pot meth lab method has caused troopers concern. Statewide, the number of meth labs investigated dropped slightly from 2010, with 11 labs in 2010 and eight in 2011.

The one-pot method combines ammonium nitrate or sulfate from fertilizer or cold packs, pseudoephedrine tablets, ether, water and a reactive metal into a container such as a 2-liter plastic soda bottle. The pressure and violent reaction of the reactive metal can cause the bottle to burst or rupture, exposing ingredients to air and oxygen and causing an explosive fire.

“As this method begins to gain in popularity within Alaska it will increase the danger to all citizens of Alaska from explosions, fires and exposure to dangerous chemicals,” the drug report notes.

Peters said the suspected meth lab seized from Igou’s car is still being evaluated and troopers don’t know how much meth or other chemicals was in the lab. There was evidence the lab had been used recently before being seized.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.

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coolbreeze99672
49
Points
coolbreeze99672 03/01/13 - 01:17 pm
0
0
What a puke. Most likely

What a puke. Most likely dumping toxic waste all over town too.

jlmh
351
Points
jlmh 03/03/13 - 12:11 am
0
0
The third paragraph from the

The third paragraph from the end sounds like directions...

coolbreeze99672
49
Points
coolbreeze99672 03/03/13 - 09:55 am
0
0
It does...and it is for the

It does...and it is for the most part. Right up to the reactive metal...and anyone that has watched cops or any other documentaries on meth will know what that is.

It just amazes me how people can put these poisons in their bodies. Some on a daily basis.

Luvflyfishing
214
Points
Luvflyfishing 03/03/13 - 07:32 pm
0
1
Life in prison

If this person would be put away for life, maybe it would prevent
People to keep making this dangerous drug.

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 03/03/13 - 10:05 pm
1
0
Incarceration rate

LFF,
It seems the answer to most social issues is prison. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world per 100,000 people and we still suffer from the same social problems as the rest of the everyone else. I wish I had another answer to the drug problem that plagues our society, but I don't. However, prison as we know it doesn't work. A person convicted of murder is generally paroled far before his sentence is up. I am sure the same would be true of a conviction for drug manufacturing. The death penalty in states that allow it, doesn't seem to be much of a deterrence to capital murder as it still occurs and in no small numbers. We seem to be getting used to addressing the symptoms of our social issues without addressing the true illness.

Luvflyfishing
214
Points
Luvflyfishing 03/04/13 - 05:26 am
0
0
Agree

I fully agree with you Sam. All of our prisons and jails are
Holding over the maximum, leaving little or no space for additional
People on various crimes. Therefore, many are released back into
Society much to soon. Plus, our court systems are much to slow in
Processing known criminals and most of the time the sentence is too
Lenient for the crime. I wish I had the answers, but I do not.
I do know rehab helps in some cases but not nearly enough.
It is easy for me to say life in prison for this type of offender. But, it just
Doesn't work that easy, does it? I realize that.
I do wonder what causes people to continue to mfg
These drugs knowing the consequences.
So many lives are destroyed by drugs.
I know it is an illness. But, how to address it, I do not
Know. I know young people from good families that
That get hooked on various drugs. So, what do you think
Causes them to be so vulnerable? Is it curiosity, peer pressure,
Weakness in the person or what? I just believe if we
Could stop the availability, it would not be as rampant in our
Society. I would love more input on how we can eliminate
These problems.

Raoulduke
2889
Points
Raoulduke 03/04/13 - 06:39 am
0
0
stock exchange

When our prison system goes private.The states save money,and the private companies make a mint.If profits are to made from incarceration.Then the logical thing to do is overcrowd with non-violent criminals with,and mandatory sentencing. Does not bode well for our society.Does it?

Luvflyfishing
214
Points
Luvflyfishing 03/04/13 - 07:20 am
0
0
Did not know

Raoulduke:

I did not know that a lot of our prisons had become private.
That certainly explains the over crowding.
I never could understand why so many non violent
People were sent to prison. Some for much longer
Periods than I felt was right.
I can understand the Repeat DUIs.
They are a danger to others. It is certainly
Becoming a difficult society. Full of corruption
and drugs. It concerns me for our children.
So, what can one do about it? It is very very sad.
Thank you very much for sharing the info for me.

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 03/05/13 - 08:36 am
1
0
Prison System

Our prison system is not over crowded because it is run by the government. It is not over crowded because there are not enough prisons. We will not stop wasting money or stop prison over crowding simply because we privatize our prison system. If we look at who is imprisoned and for what, we would find several non violent, victimless offenders being held for excessive terms.
The United States has the highest prison population in the world per 100,000. However, our annual rate of incarceration (number of newly incarcerated) is comparable to Canada and are actually lower than many other western countries. We simply imprison people longer here for lesser offenses
We need to address who is going to prison, for what and for how long. A change in our legal/penal system is in order to address these issues.

bigtalkahh
184
Points
bigtalkahh 03/06/13 - 09:30 am
0
0
Jails

I agree 100% with Sam Von P. The prison industry has gotten way out of hand. A change in our legal/penal system is due now.

aspiecelia
109
Points
aspiecelia 03/06/13 - 11:07 am
0
0
I'm Surprised

I reported a meth lab right next to the Wynn Nature Center and in a horrible apt building in Homer. The troopers and Nome cops did nothing, but bully me and allow me to be bullied by the meth cooks as well as physically threatened with harm. I thought LEOs loved meth labs in the Homer area. While I do not believe people should be charged with crimes for using drugs a meth lab is a huge fire hazard and very toxic. The chemicals and cans are often dumped somewhere or burned outside. Those who manufacture it meth and sell it to others whose lives are harmed often resulting in them committing crimes that get them incarcerated should be arrested to protect others.

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