OCONTO FALLS – Some people in Oconto Falls say they were shocked to learn an alleged meth lab was just across the street. Four people were taken into custody in the Wednesday morning raid.
Dale Mann, who lives across the street from the trailer home where the alleged meth lab was found, says his Birch Avenue neighborhood is normally a quiet place to live.
“All day long, kids play outside,” said Mann.
But Wednesday morning, he says that sense of normalcy went out the window.
“My fiancée woke me up and she said there’s police in the yard with their guns out. And I’m like, ‘what?’
And sure enough, I look out the window and there was an officer behind my tree with his gun pointed over there.”
Authorities say a search warrant of the trailer uncovered the highly addictive and dangerous to produce drug methamphetamine, chemicals and a lab needed to make it.
Two men and two women inside the home were taken into custody. Three are in the Oconto County jail. The fourth, according to jail officials, was never booked.
FOX 11 is not naming the suspects because they haven’t been formally charged.
“I didn’t know the people,” said Mann. “I don’t think I’ve ever really spoken to them.”
We wanted to get the straight story, as to who lives in the home. It appeared that someone was home, so FOX 11 knocked on the door. A curtain visibly moved away from the window, but no one answered the door.
One pot method
Law enforcement officials say a trend they are seeing on the streets is the movement of methamphetamine production to what’s called a “one pot” method; a much more mobile way of producing methamphetamines, in small quantities.
“Very hard for law enforcement basically react to,” said Pete Thelen, who is the special agent in charge of the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Appleton criminal investigation field office. The DOJ assisted in the Oconto Falls case.
Thelen says the one pot method equipment and ingredients can easily fit in a backpack and take about 20 minutes to make a batch, but it is extremely dangerous.
“One out of three one pot methods actually do end up starting on fire,” said Thelen.
Thelen says tips from the community are a major catalyst for investigating suspicious activity in an area. Oconto Falls police say it was a tip led them to conduct surveillance on the home with the alleged meth lab.