New York Man Caught Carrying One-Pot Meth Lab in Backpack

By Dorri Olds 08/23/16

Often referred to as the "Shake and Bake" method, these one-pot meth labs pose a serious public safety threat. 

New York Man Caught Carrying One-Pot Meth Lab in Backpack

Despite the highly explosive toxic chemicals used to make methamphetamine, plenty of crackpot chemists are taking their chances by taking their meth labs to go.

Last Friday in Binghamton, New York, cops arrested William L. Haight, 32, for an outstanding warrant. Unfortunately for him, he was caught while carrying a one-pot meth lab in his backpack. 

“Dangerous gases, threat of explosion or fire, and hazardous waste are just a few of the dangers associated with the manufacturing of methamphetamine," said Binghamton Police Chief Joseph Zikuski in a statement. "Individuals who engage in this type of illicit activity pose a real threat to public safety and we are committed to ridding them from our neighborhoods.”

Local residents were concerned, including Cierra Shady, who lives across the street from where Haight was arrested. “There’s drugs and violence everywhere you go. What did surprise me is that someone was walking around with a backpack with something that could explode," Shady told local station WICZ. "[T]here could have been a lot of people hurt."

Portable meth labs have become an increasing problem. On July 7 in Georgia, the Crisp County sheriff's office reported a car stopped for speeding on I-75. Driver Dane Gray had a suspended license. There were three others in the car and none had ID, so authorities searched the vehicle and found what one officer referred to as a "rolling meth lab."

On August 8, a meth lab was found 12 feet underground in an Amherst, New York Walmart parking lot. The hazardous materials were dealt with by crews in hazmat suits. “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.”

Also this month, Joseph Joyce, a reckless driver with a revoked license, crashed a Chevy pickup truck in Craven County, North Carolina. Two volunteer firefighters were exposed to vapors from what appeared to be a mobile meth lab. In the passenger seat was Kellie Guy, wearing a probation ankle bracelet. A cleanup crew was called in. Possible meth charges are pending. Joyce had just been released from prison in July.

On another meth note of inept criminality, NBC News recently reported on a guilty plea by Georgia resident, Ronnie Music Jr., who funded a crystal meth drug ring with his $3 million lottery winnings.

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Dorri Olds is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Woman’s Day and several book anthologies. Find Dorri on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.