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Drug agents bust three suspected methamphetamine labs in Fairbanks

Posted: Friday, October 06, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Following two months of investigations, drug agents raided three suspected methamphetamine labs on two neighboring Fairbanks properties this week.

Labs were found in a shed and small shanty, as well as in a house next door, according to Alaska State Trooper Sgt. J.R. Roberts, head of the local multi-agency Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit.

Seven adults and a 13-year-old were found inside various buildings on the two properties during the raids Wednesday. Roberts said it isn't clear who are owners, renters or squatters.

Donald Lees, 35, was found living in the shanty and was arrested on a charge of probation violation after he tested positive for methamphetamines, Roberts said.

In the house next door, Cinda Bailey, 29, was arrested on charges of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance when she was found in possession of methamphetamines. Roberts said she could face more charges.

''It's a little premature to name all seven suspects, but we do anticipate future charges on several people,'' Roberts said. ''We normally wait for lab results.''

Roberts said the raid was the culmination of about a two-month investigation after one of the local drug enforcement officers received reports pointing to the presence of a lab in the area.

Roberts said when enough evidence was acquired, a warrant was obtained to search the two residences. Members of the statewide unit, the FBI, the Fairbanks Police Department, Airport Police, University Police and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency participated in the raids.

''This one was a little difficult in the raid aspect; there were so many different places we had to cover,'' Roberts said. ''I borrowed bodies from every agency in this town.''

Drug agents in white protective suits -- aided by the Fairbanks North Star Borough Hazardous Material Team -- brought out chemicals in mason jars, Styrofoam cups and even a large wine jug. The concoctions were measured in their container, then samples were siphoned into smaller jars, placed in plastic bags and stored in plastic boxes to be sent to the state crime lab to be identified.

Two of the labs were on property cluttered with an assortment of vehicles, scraps, lumber and appliances. About 100 yards away, lab materials were found already packaged among junk in a house, Roberts said.

The three labs appear to be connected, he said.

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