Provincial police detected large-scale meth lab operating out of house in Eldorado, Ont.
Provincial police recently detected a large-scale meth lab operating out of this house in Eldorado, Ont. (Adrian Cheung/CBC)
Provincial police are warning about a resurgence in the production and use of meth in Ontario as officers raided a lab at a rural residence over the weekend.
“Steadily since 2010, our number of seizures of methamphetamine for the OPP have been climbing,” said Det. Insp. Jim Walker, deputy director of the OPP’s organized crime enforcement bureau.
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“The trends are indicating that it’s here, and it’s back in Ontario. It’s concerning because of how addictive it is and how people react when they’re taking that substance,” he explained.
Walker spoke to CBC Toronto from a property in Eldorado, Ont., on Sunday. The rural community is about 50 kilometres north of Belleville, Ont, up Highway 62.
Accompanied by Health Canada chemists, police spent the day removing potentially dangerous chemicals and chemical waste from the home. Officers were outfitted in hazmat suits and self-contained breathing apparatuses. (Adrian Cheung/CBC)
Provincial police recently discovered a large-scale meth lab operating out of a house in the area. On Saturday, officers executed a warrant at the house. They simultaneously arrested three people in the Greater Toronto Area.
Accompanied by Health Canada chemists, police spent the day removing potentially dangerous chemicals and chemical waste from the home. Officers were outfitted in hazmat suits and self-contained breathing apparatuses.
“There is a lot of dangerous chemicals,” Walker explained. “There are a lot of dangerous gases that are byproducts of that cooking process.”
Police in the OPP’s central region, based just north of the GTA, have found as many as a dozen chemical dump sites from nearby meth labs in recent months. (Adrian Cheung/CBC)
According to Walker, meth labs are generally classified as either “addiction-based” or “economic-based.” The former is generally less dangerous, and usually involves mixing chemicals together in a soda bottle.
The lab in Eldorado falls into the latter category, Walker said.
“They’re making it here in a larger quantity solely for profit.”
A garage on the property was being used to store bulk chemicals in metal and plastic drums.
The office of the Ontario Fire Marshal and paramedics were also on scene to assist police, as well as representatives from the ministry of environment.
“For every pound of finished product, depending on what substance they are making, it can be as much as six pounds of toxic waste produced and they usually like to get rid of that away from the property,” Walker said.
Chemical byproducts of the meth production process dumped on a rural road in Ontario. (Submitted by OPP)
“What we’ve seen in recent investigations, primarily with meth labs, are indications that individuals who are cooking are dumping toxic waste in the surrounding communities.”
Police in the OPP’s central region, based just north of the GTA, have found as many as a dozen chemical dump sites from nearby meth labs in recent months.
“I’m talking hundreds of pounds worth of toxic waste just dumped on side roads,” Walker said.
The office of the Ontario Fire Marshal and paramedics were also on scene to assist police, as well as representatives from the ministry of environment. (Adrian Cheung/CBC)
The problem doesn’t show any signs of abating, he added. Police in the Prairies have been dealing with a meth epidemic for a number of years, and there are signs that it could be moving east.
“We’ve never seen meth as cheap as it is now,” Walker explained.
And it’s hardly a rural issue. Labs have been found in all sorts of places, including in downtown Toronto apartments and industrial complexes.