An alert deputy has taken a potential methamphetamine producer off the street in the Heights.
According to an alert from the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office earlier this week, Precinct 1 deputies arrested a man in the 1300 block of Yale Street in the Heights April 12 on a charge of gathering materials used to produce meth. Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen said a patrol officer driving down the street saw a white male loitering on the sidewalk in front of an abandoned business strip center. When the man saw the officer, he began emptying the contents of a yellow arsenal can into a glass bottle, and hurriedly stuffing everything into a backpack.
Alerted by the behavior, Rosen said the deputy pulled the man aside and, after running him through the system, found a drug-related warrant out for the man’s arrest out of New Hampshire. Further investigation by Precinct 1 deputies revealed possession of brake cleaners, coffee filters, translucent plastic tubing, and a turkey baster, along with a plethora of prescription drugs in tow – all those things signaling the intent to cook and produce meth.
A hazmat team and the DPS – which handles meth labs and operations – were later dispatched to the area. The suspect was later taken into custody and remains there as of press time.
“This is a dangerous operation. If a citizen went by and saw this, they might think it was someone working at the building or clearing out trash, because it was just a bunch of different assorted bottles. You really wouldn’t think much of it,” Rosen said. “It wouldn’t raise the suspicion of citizens, but it raised ours.”
Rosen said the incident (for now) appears to be a one-off situation with no ties to any larger operation – but reiterated the danger of any operation, large or small – especially in a densely-populated area such as the Heights. The abandoned strip center is near Heights High School, several churches, and the Heights Library.
“This stuff is dangerous to mess with – when you start mixing these chemical reactions that happen, and that’s the danger in it – it’s a very volatile compound. He was basically using the shopping strip center as a basis for manufacturing drugs right on the sidewalk,” Rosen said.
“Him manufacturing these compounds crudely could lead to overdosing or someone getting killed by it. Who knows what he’s putting in there that could really harm somebody if they came in contact with it or bought it from him. It’s important to deal with these issues that are facing people out there.”