Tip leads officers to suspected drug lab
February 27, 1996
Steamboat Springs — An anonymous call put Routt County sheriff's investigator's on the trail toward a suspected drug lab last week.
And although bad weather made the trip longer than expected they eventually arrived – not at a dead end, but where they wanted to be,
The investigation into a suspected methamphetamine lab began Feb. 9, when investigators received a tip about a clandestine laboratory operating somewhere in Routt County, Sheriff's Investigator Paul Pirnat said.
On Feb. 21, additional information narrowed the search to a 960 acre area near the border of Routt and Rio blanco counties, approximately 22 miles north of Hayden. Included in the information investigators received were production formulas and instructions. A search warrant for the lab was obtained. Then, relying on information they received earlier in the day, investigators rode snowmobiles on the evening of Wednesday, feb. 21, searching for a camper-trailer that reportedly contained the drug-maaking equipment.
However, bad weather hampered efforts until Friday, when Routt County Search and Rescue led investigators in a tracked Thiokol vehicle snow-cat.
Clear weather and the search and rescue vehicle helped investigators find the 12-foot by 6-foot trailer in a grove of aspen trees. The trailer was near RCR-55, approximately 5 miles south of RCR 29.
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Investigators said they found methamphetamine production chemicals and several hundred dollars worth of glassware used to make the drug. Sheriff John warner said his department has zero tolerance for the production or sale of illegal drugs.
"We will pursue anyone who attempts to do this in our county," he said.
Pirnat said at least two arrest warrants are pending, possibly as many as four.