Lewis County Watch

The Thurston County Narcotics Task Force seized a lab used to convert methamphetamine from liquid to crystal form on Wednesday, the Sheriff’s office says.

About 1 p.m. Wednesday the task force went to a home in the 5000 block of 75th Avenue Southwest in Olympia and arrested a 37-year-old Olympia man on an outstanding federal warrant on the charge of unlawful delivery of methamphetamine and heroin, according to a news release from the office.

When they contacted the man, members of the task force “developed probable cause” to issue a search warrant for the home “concerning the unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine,” according to the release. Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Rudloff told The Olympian he could not share further details of what led to the search because the investigation is ongoing.

Inside the home, law enforcement found evidence that liquid methamphetamine was being converted into crystal form. Liquid meth is not “street marketable,” Lt. Rudloff said, while crystallized meth can be sold on the street.

That liquid-to-solid conversion process can be “very dangerous,” Rudloff said, and has potential to contaminate a home. The task force notified the environmental health division of Thurston County Public Health & Social Services.

Other items found inside the home, according to Rudloff, included about $9,000 in cash and at least an ounce of crystal methamphetamine.

Deputies made three other arrests on outstanding Department of Corrections warrants at the scene: a 37-year-old woman and 34-year-old man from Olympia and a 23-year-old woman from Shelton. The Olympian does not identify arrested individuals before they appear in court.

Washington State Patrol’s SWAT Clandestine Lab Team assisted the task force — a collaboration of local, state, and federal agencies — in processing and recovering evidence at the home.

This is the first “clandestine methamphetamine lab” discovered by the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force in more than 10 years, according to the news release.

“The Task Force is committed to ensuring that historical trend remains,” the release reads.

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