Drug unit says 2 meth operations busted

File photo.
File photo.

ST. NAZIANZ – A crystal meth bust in Manitowoc County put one man behind bars, with authorities looking for another.

The Manitowoc County Sheriff's office says two small operations were busted Monday – one in St. Nazianz, another in nearby Kiel.

"There's tons of ways to make it," said Lt. Dave Remiker of Manitowoc County's metro drug unit.

"We have a tendency to use pharmacy logs – what's common is the purchase of pseudoephedrine products, which is one of the main ingredients in meth production," said Remiker.

He says a tip led investigators to a 33-year-old man who lives in this St. Nazianz trailer park, and a 29-year-old man who lives off Point Creek road in rural Kiel. The 33-year-old is in jail on a probation hold, the 29-year-old is still on the loose.

"They had a pretty extensive habit with prescription drugs and meth," said Remiker of the two men.

Remiker says bomb making material and ammo were also found in the St. Nazianz home. He says the department expects to make more arrests in the case.

Waste water issues

And that extensive habit could be creating a problem for the Village of St Nazianz. Cooking meth creates waste by-products.

Remiker says the St Nazianz operation could yield up to two gallons of waste per batch, made up of chemicals like camping fuel, red phosphorous and acetone.

"He talked about between 5 to 10 batches of meth that he produced, and his way of disposal was through the toilet," Remiker said of conversations with the 33-year-old suspect.

The village says it has failed a DNR-required waste water test since February. That test costs $1,300. Another test is scheduled for Monday; that's another $1,300 flushed away.

The utilities manager declined an on camera interview, but says the correlation between the alleged dumping of byproducts and the failed tests is speculation.

"It was interesting to know that the timing of the information that we were getting, the information of the location of where we thought this was taking place and then the consistent issues with some of the utilities in the village,” Remiker said, “just kind of led us to that area."

Remiker says everyone in the community pays the price for illegal drugs. The only way to fight it is through education, making the public understand the problem could be in your own back yard.