Police investigate suspected meth lab

A West Virginia man was detained following a traffic stop on Colley Block Road Wednesday morning by Lt. R.L. Connor and officer Mala Bansal of the Strasburg Police Department. Officers viewed precursors of methamphetamine, and further investigation led to discovering the finished methamphetamine product. Rich Cooley/Daily

STRASBURG — Town police detained a 46-year-old West Virginia man after stopping his car Wednesday morning and finding what they believe to be evidence of a mobile methamphetamine laboratory inside.

Police Chief Tim Sutherly said Lt. R.L. Conner and officer Mala Bansal stopped a 2001 Buick Century at about 8:30 a.m. in the 1200 block of Colley Block Road, a dead end road in an isolated, unpopulated area of town.

Sutherly said Connor and Bansal were on a routine patrol when they spotted the Buick and drove up to it.

“He was sitting on the side of the road cooking his product when they pulled up,” Sutherly said of the suspect.

The suspect panicked and drove away discarding items from the car as he went along until he ran out of roadway, Sutherly said.

Sutherly said the items recovered from in and around the car include precursors used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

More and more meth makers and dealers are operating out of vehicles where they mix their ingredients in 20-ounce bottles.

“It’s relatively cheap and mobile,” Sutherly said. “They can keep everything they need inside the car.”

The investigation is continuing and drug-related charges are expected to be filed against the suspect, who was taken to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital.

“He is going to be held overnight for observation,” Sutherly said of the suspect.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com