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Apartment meth lab exposed in East Baton Rouge Parish

Methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance, is a central nervous system stimulant that has high potential for abuse. Operating a meth lab in a residential area can cause fires, explosions, pollution, contamination of homes and harm to children. Illegal operation of a meth lab is considered a serious drug crime under Louisiana law.

East Baton Rouge Parish authorities recently reported the arrest of a couple for illegal possession of methamphetamine and having a clandestine lab inside their Zachary apartment. The Zachary police received complaints from the couple's neighbors about the strong smell of ammonia and other chemicals coming from the couple's apartment. The Delta Drug Task Force suspected the possibility of a meth laboratory in the apartment and conducted a search. An investigating officer discovered recently cooked methamphetamine and other materials used to cook meth. Authorities also reported that the strong smell of chemicals was apparent even before they reached the couple's apartment. Chemicals found in the apartment were confiscated and destroyed by a hazardous materials team.

The couple is being held in East Baton Rouge Prison. The suspects are charged with the operation of a clandestine lab, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Possession of methamphetamine is a drug offense under state law. Penalties for drug crimes in Louisiana are serious. Depending on the circumstances a conviction can result in a prison sentence, fines and seizure of property. A conviction of possession of methamphetamine can result in fines and a prison term of five to 30 years depending on the quantity of methamphetamine seized.

Those accused of a crime are entitled to a fair trial and other constitutional protections. The defendant does not have to prove his or her innocence. Before the court punishes the guilty, the prosecution must prove every element of its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Source: zacharytoday.com, "Zachary couple arrested for meth lab," Stacy Gill, Oct. 15, 2012

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