Meth lab explodes in Loras apartment bathroom

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Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 4:15 pm

A one-pot meth lab gone wrong is believed to have caused an explosion in a common area bathroom at a Loras College apartment this morning.

The Dubuque police and fire departments responded to the top floor of the Lynch McCarthy apartment complex at around 1:50 a.m. Wednesday morning for a fire alarm indicating sprinkler system activation, according to a Dubuque police press release.

Further investigation revealed an active methamphetamine lab had exploded causing the alarm. The individual responsible for the lab fled prior to law enforcement being notified of the incident and remains at large.

There was extensive damage but no known injuries. The investigation remains ongoing with criminal charges likely.

Law enforcement found what seems to be remnants of a one-pot meth lab, according to Gary Pape with the Dubuque Drug Task Force.

A one-pot cook, also known as shake-and-bake meth, is a relatively new way of cooking meth that is gaining popularity in the area.

The method involves simpler ingredients, is more mobile and doesn’t stink like the more common method that uses anhydrous ammonia.

Pape said this is the first instance of the one-pot method being used anywhere other than in a private spot.

“I could see that happening more at a park restroom or basically anywhere [the cook] can expect some privacy for 45 minutes to an hour,” he said.

In a second, unrelated event at 10:51 a.m., Dubuque police uncovered another meth lab at 1922 White St. when serving a warrant on Dennis J. Hantelmann, 29, no permanent address, who was wanted on several warrants for interference with official acts, aggravated public intoxication, second-degree theft, forgery and disorderly conduct (total bond $20,000). Hantelmann also has an out of state warrant from Jo Daviess County for felony obstruction of justice (bond $50,000).

During this investigation, officers located multiple methamphetamine precursors on Hantelmann’s person and in his immediate vicinity. Hantelmann is being held in the Dubuque County Jail pending his court appearance tomorrow morning and additional criminal charges are likely.

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