Winnipeg police uncover meth lab

A routine drug search leads Winnipeg police to a laboratory designed to produce methamphetamine in the city's Old Tuxedo neighbourhood.

A routine drug search led Winnipeg police to discover and dismantle a laboratory used to produce methamphetamine in the city's Old Tuxedo neighbourhood.

The arrest of a 28-year-old man after a traffic stop at Renfrew Street and Corydon Avenue on Friday night prompted police to get a warrant to search a home in the 200 block of Edgeland Boulevard, police said Sunday.

When officers went into the home early Saturday, they found five grams of crystal methamphetamine, chemicals, beakers, test tubes and other glassware. Small amounts of ecstasy and marijuana were also found, police said.

The officers immediately called in the fire department's hazardous materials team and a clandestine lab unit, which investigated further. 

Why are home meth labs so dangerous?

Chemicals used in the production of methamphetamine are highly volatile or flammable. They may ignite or explode if mixed or stored improperly.

Other chemicals used in the process can cause dizziness, nausea, disorientation, lack of co-ordination, pulmonary edema, serious respiratory problems, severe chemical burns and damage to internal organs.

Several people living near the building were ordered out of their homes as a precaution until officers deemed the area safe enough. Some people stayed on a transit bus stationed near the scene while the meth lab was dismantled.

A 28-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman face drug-related charges, police said. They were released on a promise to appear in court at a later date. Police did not identify them.

In late August, police seized nearly $900,000 worth of meth from a home on Moldan Bay, but there was no indication the drugs were produced there. Police described it as the largest meth seizure in Winnipeg history.

The last time police publicly reported finding a meth lab was in May 2008, after a raid on a third-floor suite at the Madison Memorial Lodge on Evanson Street.

About 85 residents of the building — many of them seniors or people with mental illnesses — were forced out of their homes for a few hours during the nighttime raid.