Claremore Daily Progress

August 6, 2010

County employees spot ‘shake and bake’ meth lab

Joy Hampton
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE — County employees Bill Brown and James Willis spotted a bag of garbage many people would have ignored, but due to training the men recognized the remains of a “shake and bake” methamphetamine lab.

The toxic debris was found in rural Foyil not far from a popular fishing spot along Oologah Lake.

As law enforcement has tightened around meth labs operating throughout Oklahoma, more drug manufacturers are turning to portable means of production. Known as “shake and bake,” these portable meth labs use 2 or 3 liter soda bottles to make the highly addictive drug that is plaguing the nation.

Those empty containers and other dangerous and toxic debris are often discarded in the rural countryside where county employees work. As a matter of public safety, local law enforcement officials have been training county employees to recognize those remains to protect the employees and the public at large.

“I’m proud of Bill Brown and James Willis who found this,” said District 1 County Commissioner Dan DeLozier. “We’ve had training on identifying hazardous materials. They did a good job.”

Brown and Willis were working in the area and from the elevated vantage of their truck, spotted the meth lab remains just off of E400 Road just west of S417.

The men reported their findings to the D1 administrative barn and DeLozier’s staff called the Rogers County Sheriff.

“This isn’t the first time,” said DeLozier.

He said in most cases men brush hogging the ditches encounter shake and bake meth remains. Training in how to recognize those remains help protect the men from touching toxic items that could be hazardous. It also means law enforcement can be brought in to safely remove the hazardous items.

“They did what they were trained to do,” said DeLozier. “I’m glad we found this and we are going to get it cleaned up. It’s good for public safety.”

DeLozier pointed out a nearby path of worn down grass leading from a gravel parking area turn around to the lake. The meth lab was found just a short distance away. Had Brown and Willis not spotted the shake and bake, kids or someone fishing might have come into contact with the toxic materials.

Sheriff’s Deputy David Metz was stationed in the area to wait for a special hazmat team coming from Oklahoma City to deal with the disposal.