ISANTI COUNTY, Minn. -- A week and a half after a major meth lab bust in rural Isanti, residents nearby wonder what the after effects will be.
Many people on Larch Street had no idea an outhouse was being used to manufacture and cook meth. "I actually found out two days later when one of my friends emailed me the article from your website," Emily Peterson, who lives two doors down, said.
Isanti County Sheriff Deputies spent a year on this investigation which netted 9 arrests after a middle-of-the-night search warrant was executed.
"We haven't seen this size of an operation in Isanti County before," Sheriff Russ Monson said. The Sheriff says multiple hazardous material crews removed most of the dangerous product the night of the arrests, but officials found something else that concerned them. "What we believe is happening is there is a PVC pipe in the ground in the yard and I think they were dumping it into the ground," Monson explained.
That is why residents on Larch are urged to refrain from drinking their well water. Health officials also encourage them to get their individual wells tested. "Our biggest concern is that all of that waste is in all of our water," Peterson said. Investigators say they found anhydrous, soaked amphetamine and lithium in the lab.
Workers at the Isanti County Health Department say they're working with the County Attorney's office and the property may be determined a public nuisance by week's end. If that happens, the property owner will have ten days to act.
The 85-year-old property owners told police they had no idea what their daughter and her boyfriend (who were arrested) had been doing in that shed. The elderly couple told KARE 11 they had their well tested and are waiting for the results.
"We're fairly confident that, because of the area (rural), many of the homes nearby would not be affected but obviously we would like to see that test first," Sheriff Monson concluded.
(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)