Meth Lab Discovered Under Walmart Parking Lot

By McCarton Ackerman 08/15/16

Law enforcement made the bizarre discovery during a “preventative patrol” last week.

Meth Lab Discovered Under Walmart Parking Lot

Low prices aren’t the only thing that could be found at a Walmart in New York. Police in the town of Amherst discovered an underground meth lab hidden beneath the store’s parking lot.

The Washington Post reported that the meth lab was discovered last Monday by Amherst police and state law enforcement. The lab was located 12 feet underneath the parking lot inside the storm sewage tunnel. Amherst Police Capt. Scott Chamberlin said that they “stumbled upon it” during a routine “preventative patrol,” eventually uncovering an assortment of chemicals and “a liquid that we believe is methamphetamine.” However, he insisted that the lab didn’t pose a danger to the contaminated water source, local residents or local Walmart shoppers.

“I was completely astounded,” said Amherst Highway Superintendent Patrick G. Lucey to the Buffalo News. “It’s like, are you kidding me? It’s just not something you run across. I’m sure it can happen anywhere … but this was definitely something new.”

Walmart spokesman Erica Jones said in a statement that the company was “shocked” about the discovered meth lab, calling it “upsetting and unacceptable.” She added that “we’re glad the police have responded and we’ll continue to help them with their investigation.”

However, this isn’t the first meth-related incident to occur at a Walmart. Last December, a Florida woman was arrested for reportedly shooting up meth and then riding a motorized shopping cart through a store in Lecanto, all while eating chicken and drinking wine. Josseleen Elida Lopez, 20, was hit with shoplifting and drug paraphernalia charges. She explained to police that she was hungry and simply didn’t want to wait to eat the food outside of the store.

In March 2015, an Indiana man was arrested for operating a meth lab out of a Walmart bathroom in the town of Muncie. Tyler Armstrong, 25, had left chemicals used to make meth sitting in a backpack inside of the men’s room. He tried to resist officers, but was eventually subdued and taken into custody.

And in December 2011, a Tulsa woman was arrested for trying to make meth inside of a Walmart bathroom. Elizabeth Elisha Halfmoon was caught by police “mixing sulfuric acid with starter fluid in a bottle.” She explained that she was “too broke to buy the chemicals” and was trying to manufacture it herself—but was admittedly not skilled at doing so.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.