May 29, 2009

Meth lab found thanks to thrift store gift

A donation to a thrift store in Jefferson County, Mo., resulted in the discovery of a methamphetamine lab, police say.

Jefferson County sheriff's deputies said a large meth lab was discovered in Hillsboro, Mo., after a worker at a thrift store informed authorities a bag half-filled with a crystal-like substance was found in a donated item of clothing, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Friday.

Cpl. Jerry Williams said the raided lab, discovered thanks to the worker's call on May 20, was capable of consistently manufacturing a sizable amount of the illegal drug.

The lab was found after police tracked the item of clothing, donated with other clothing to the thrift store, to an area home. Police said the substance left in the clothing was nearly $500 worth of methamphetamine.

The raid of the home resulted in the discovery of three children, ages ranging from 3 to 14, and the arrest of two suspects.

The Post-Dispatch said Matthew Velasco, 38, and Melanie Velasco, 35, now face charges ranging from possession and intent to distribute a controlled substance to felony child endangerment.