Investigation continues into suspected Hayden meth lab

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More details emerged Monday in the police raid of a suspected methamphetamine lab in Hayden on Saturday, but no arrests had been made as of Monday evening.

Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins said Monday that law enforcement officers removed “very explosive and flammable” materials Saturday morning from the suspected lab in a home at 340 E. Jefferson Ave.

Wiggins, who gave similar information to the Routt County Board of Commissioners during a briefing Monday afternoon, said by phone that the materials included lethal chemicals used in the making of meth. He also said a “death bag” — a garbage bag used to trap toxic gasses produced while making meth — was removed from the home.

In a letter Monday to the All Crimes Enforcement Team executive board and area law enforcement agencies, Wiggins praised ACET and the other agencies for safely dismantling “an extremely dangerous public safety hazard.”

“The investigation was a huge success where a legitimate meth lab was seized and removed from one of our communities,” Wiggins wrote in the letter, a copy of which he sent to the Steamboat Today.

However, law enforcement officials refused to release any other information about the raid.

ACET, with assistance from agencies including the Sheriff’s Office and Hayden Police Department, served a search warrant at 340 E. Jefferson Ave. on Saturday morning. According to the Routt County Dispatch call log, several agencies arrived at the address at 9:22 a.m., and some remained there until after 8 p.m.

Hayden Police Chief Gordon Booco said U.S. Highway 40, which is Jefferson Avenue in Hayden, was closed for 14 hours Saturday along the one-block stretch from Pine to Aspen streets. He said eastbound and westbound traffic was diverted to Washington Avenue and Lincoln Avenue, respectively.

ACET Commander Marvin Cameron confirmed that 340 E. Jefferson Ave. was the home that was raided. According to the Routt County Assessor’s Office database, the home belongs to Hayden resident Ron Nereson. Nereson was out of town Monday and couldn’t be reached for comment. But investigators were clear that Nereson is considered a victim, not a suspect.

Cameron said at no time did investigators ever think Nereson had any idea what was taking place in the home, which appears to have been rented.

“We have no reason to believe that the homeowner had anything to do with this or knew what was going on,” Cameron said. “He’s a victim in this.”

Cameron said no arrests had been made as of Monday evening. Wiggins told county commissioners that the suspect is a previous offender in Routt County who on more than one occasion was arrested on suspicion of meth-related charges. Officials would not release the suspect’s name.

Hayden resident Robert Ben­nett, who lives at 398 E. Jefferson Ave., said he watched the raid at the home next door to his.

Bennett said he thought the tenants at the home had lived there five or six months. Bennett said he met them only once.

“I don’t really pay that much attention,” he said. “They were just there coming and going all the time, that’s all I ever noticed.”

The Routt County Office of Emergency Management, 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, West Routt Fire Pro­tec­tion District, Colorado State Patrol Hazardous Materials Team and the Moffat County Hazardous Materials Team also assisted ACET during the raid.

Cameron said ACET would continue working with the other agencies in the investigation.

Comments

ftpheide 3 years, 8 months ago

This article is encouraging. We gone from "items we believe were used to manufacture meth" to "a legitimate meth lab",explosives and a "death bag"! Good Job!

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

No arrests? Twelve hours inside a house and no one got busted. Yeah, great job guys!

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RPG 3 years, 8 months ago

So hows Hot Springs robbery investigation going?

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

Until arrests are made this raid cannot be perceived as anything but harrassment on the part of ACET, and all of the alleged evidence seized will have to be returned. At this point, it is an alleged meth lab, and the supposed suspect(s) are alleged meth dealers/manufacturers. I am all for getting scumbag meth people behind bars, but please, no more incompetence by Piggums and his ACET brownshirts!

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rhys jones 3 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, you would've thought they'd at least wait until somebody is home; I mean, let's have some courtesy, if not smarts.

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ftpheide 3 years, 8 months ago

Rhys, It would have been impossible to arrange for the raid to occur only when someone was home. You know meth users are very busy people. The neighbor even stated they were always "coming and going". Day and Night! I don't know anyone that would prefer to be present when a mop of cops burst into their home!

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 8 months ago

Well, if the objective was to bust a meth lab and distribution ring then this doesn't look that effective. If the objective was to collect evidence and properly clean up a meth head's residence then it looks like they achieved their goals.

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jk 3 years, 8 months ago

ftp, You are unbeleivable!! I bet even screamer would have to agree that this whole raid was poorly handled! Well at least they didn't have to go in with guns a-blazin'. Did they sit around with the house under surveillance waiting for no one to be there?

Marvin- "Ok Garrett are the sheriffs office boys ready?"

Garrett- "Locked and loaded and ready to roll!"

Marvin- "What about you Gordon are your boys in position?"

Gordon- "10/4 we're ready!"

Marvin- "Ok the last one just drove away GO GO GO GO!!!!"

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ftpheide 3 years, 8 months ago

jk, Drama! No one was home when that huge group of cop's arrived. The tenants were in and out. What's your point?

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jk 3 years, 8 months ago

ftp, I think, as Scott has already pointed out, the point of a drug raid is to catch the people responsible for making the drugs. Maybe with any luck catch them making, or at least in posession of, the drugs so you can hand over a nice easy open and shut case to the DA. Do you think the people who rented this property are just gonna take down the police tape and stroll right back in the front door? Or do you you think they are off making a profit on their product??

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ftpheide 3 years, 8 months ago

jk, If a warrant is issued and a meth lab is discovered in a home you occupy - your it. The owner, of the rental home, knows the renter's names. Just because the renters weren't home, during the raid, doesn't mean they won't be held responsible. According to the article the DA office was involved in the raid. ( 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office) They probably consider it to be a easy case.
I don't have any idea what the renters are doing. I would assume their eaither looking for a good attorney or else they've moved on. I don't read Scott's comments.

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Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 8 months ago

The raid happened on Saturday. Articles in the SPT appeared shortly thereafter. Was the road closure a tipoff to the tenants? Did the tenants read the article and split? SO/ACET desire for early attaboys shouldn't compromise the ultimate goal: nabbing the questioning the perps and expanding the investigation.

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beverly lemons 3 years, 8 months ago

Death BAG! Way to justify your salary. OMG we got a death bag, were such bad azz cops!

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Zoomie 3 years, 8 months ago

Common folks, we can't hold the person responsible for making and/or using Meth. Lets blame everything or everyone else instead of the poor person who was occuping the home. Let's see, we can blame the cops because they discovered it. No, lets blame the wealthy, it's their fault people make and use drugs, or ...maybe we can blame guns and the 2nd Amendment for this Meth problem. Now it makes sense.

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