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HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

Meth Labs Flourish in Motel Rooms

Anonymous, cheap lodging is a popular place to cook crystal meth. Until the lab blows up.


What's going on behind closed doors?

By Fionna Agomuoh


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Motel rooms are prime locations for meth labs; their obscurity, anonymity and cheapness all count in their favor when people go looking for places to cook and sell the drug. In recent months, police have busted motel-based meth labs in several cities. "Often, people will go into hotels because they can go unnoticed," says Pennsylvania State Police spokesperson Michelle Davis. "They can get it cheap, and nobody is really checking for them there." She spoke after a meth lab was discovered at the Budget Inn in Guilford Township, Chambersburg. Among the three people arrested there, police found cylinders of crystal meth, hypodermic needles, and papers listing the ingredients and instructions for cooking meth. Vigilant motel staff may wish to pay attention to any odor resembling cat urine (although you'd like to think they would anyway); it could be caused by a liquid fertilizer called anhydrous ammonia that's used to make meth. Similar motel busts have recently been made in Jefferson, West Virginia, Augusta, Georgia and Orange County, Florida. The tendency of meth labs to explode and contaminate nearby areas is one reason for motel owners to be wary; the constant threat of police swoops is another.

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