Drug bust uncovers meth lab, drugs wrapped in diaper

Nancy MacPhee nmacphee@journalpioneer.com
Published on January 25, 2016

Police found hundreds of speed tablets hidden in a diaper during a search of a Summerside home last week. As a result, two city residents, a man and a woman, were arrested and will be facing charges.

©TC MEDIA/Nancy MacPhee

Man, woman facing drug charges after search of downtown Summerside residence

SUMMERSIDE – A methamphetamine lab located by police in P.E.I. is now out of operation.

The small-scale lab was uncovered during a search late last week of a Summerside home, one that police will only say is situated in a residential area of the city’s downtown.

In that home, wrapped in a baby’s diaper, police found hundreds of tablets of speed, the common street name for methamphetamine.

That diaper and the pills are now evidence in an ongoing investigation that police say will result in charges against a man and woman, both from Summerside, for trafficking speed and producing the drug.

As a result of the search last Thursday, a 29-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man, both Summerside residents, were arrested.

“The small-scale meth lab, it is consistent with what they call the one-pot method,” explained Cpl. Andy Cook, head of the Prince District JFO Drug Unit. “The method they use is known as the one-pot method, that’s because it takes place usually in a two-litre Coke bottle or a small water bottle type plastic bottle.

“There are key ingredients that get combined in there and we did locate enough that we should be laying charges for production of methamphetamine.”

Other charges will likely include possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking.

Speed is a man-made illegal addictive stimulant drug, produced purely to get high, activating certain systems in the brain. It has no medicinal uses.

On the street, it’s known as meth, chalk, crank, ice, crystal and glass, and comes mostly in tablets that, for the most part, look like candy.

It is a relatively cheap high, costing $4 to $5 a pill.

Cook, who, in a recent interview with the Journal Pioneer, indicated the prevalence of speed in Prince County, specifically Summerside, is worrisome, and the now main priority of the drug unit, said he isn’t surprised to uncover a meth lab in operation in the city.

“I thought it was only a matter of time before we did find one,” added the veteran drug enforcement officer. “These are small, user-based type labs, so we would only be talking about small low-gram levels here.”

Along with speed tablets, the number of which has yet to be tabulated, police found a small quantity of steroids and a taser, one, said Cook, that would “give a small shock” and is a prohibited weapon.

He did say that the presence of the meth lab, even one small in size, is worrisome, and can be dangerous.

“The method being used is of great concern to us. I am a clandestine lab investigator myself and these labs frequently end up with a fire and explosion,” added Cook. “The chemical processes used are unstable. It is not a controlled environment like you would see at a lab with Health Canada. There is a high potential for fire or an explosion.”

He couldn’t indicate how long the meth lab was operational, only to say that police were “looking at this place since the summer.”

Cook said with the increasing prevalence of speed on the city’s streets over the last six months to a year, it was only a matter of time before something like this was uncovered.

And, busts like these, he hoped, should be more frequent.

“I am hopeful that increased focus on it, both within the community and by the police, would hopefully decrease the amount of drug here.”

Police are still reviewing the material seized.

Cook would not comment on whether others could be arrested in connection with the incident.

nmacphee@journalpioneer.com