UPDATED 9.25.2012 by Julie Montanaro
Two men are accused of setting up a meth lab in a Tallahassee motel.
Deputies say they were still cooking the drugs when the law came knocking.
It happened at the Super 8 motel on North Monroe Street. Deputies say a tip led them to room 229 and the strong smell led them to a meth lab inside.
"I was shocked really. I live only less than a mile down the road and I didn't have a clue," Nancy McGrath said. "This I'm thinking is an unusual situation. It's outrageous."
Jack Peppers and Kevin Smith - both of Thomasville - are accused of trafficking in meth, manufacturing meth and having the ingredients to make more.
Deputies say one batch of the meth was ready and divided up for use. Another batch, they say, was being chemically cooked upstairs.
"The dry product, we had about 16 grams which is worth about $1600 on the street which is pretty significant for what they consider a small lab," said SGT Ed Cook with LCSO's Vice and Narcotics Unit. "They also had another 500 grams of product that was still cooking."
"What is the danger of them setting up a lab like this in a motel?"
"It's a huge public safety issue. The chemicals involved are volatile, can be volatile especially when miexed together. People that don't know what they're doing, even people who are experienced at cooking, still cause fires, explosions," Cook said. "There was no fire or explosion with this lab.
Deputies had to ventilate the room for hours before going inside to clean it up. They say all of the adjoining rooms were vacant so they did not have to evacuate any other motel guests.
Deputies don't believe the meth lab was operating for very long. They say Peppers and Smith checked in Monday afternoon.
The motel's general manager Roger Brown declined an on camera interview but issued this statement:
"It is our top priority to ensure the safety of all our guests throughout the duration of their stay. We were shocked to discover this activity by a first time guest and took immediate action as soon as it came to our attention. The Leon County Sheriff's Department acted quickly and professionally. We are cooperating with the authorities as they are conducting their investigation."
[UPDATE] Tallahassee, FL - September 25, 2012 by Julie Montanaro
Deputies shut down a meth lab at a Tallahassee hotel. It happened on North Monroe Street near the interstate early this morning.
Deputies got a tip that someone was cooking meth in room 229 of the Super 8 Motel. When they got there, that's exactly what they found.
Deputies tell us the people inside were cooking a batch of meth and had more of the drug drying in coffee filters around the room.
Sgt. Ed Cook said there was about $1600 worth of drugs.
Two people have been arrested. Jack Peppers and Kevin Smith have been charged with trafficking and manufacturing meth as well as having the ingredients to make more.
The main concern any time someone is cooking meth is fire or explosion. That did not happen, and deputies tell us the adjacent rooms were vacant so no one had to be evacuated.
Tallahassee, FL - September 25, 2012
On September, 25, 2012, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous tip that a clandestine methamphetamine cooking operation was taking place in room 229 of the Super 8 Hotel located at 2801 North Monroe Street.
Deputies responded and located the active methamphetamine lab.
LCSO’s Vice Unit responded to the scene, seized the lab and arrested Jack Peppers, 37, and Kevin Smith, 34. Detectives also seized precursor chemicals and finished methamphetamine.
Both Peppers and Smith were arrested and taken to the Leon County Jail.
Tallahassee, FL - September 25, 2012
Leon County deputies shut down a meth lab that had been hastily set up at a Tallahassee motel.
It happened at the Super 8 on North Monroe Street about 1:30 this morning.
Two people were arrested and charged with manufacturing and trafficking meth.
Sgt. Ed Cook says they were cooking some meth and drying some more. He estimated the street value of the drugs at $1600.
He says all the adjacent rooms were vacant so no one had to evacuated while they dismantled the lab and cleaned it up.