METHAMPHETAMINE IN THE APARTMENT COMMUNITY
The manufacture and use of methamphetamine, a highly dangerous, addictive and illegal drug is rampant throughout the United States. Usually it is manufactured in clandestine labs in trailers and homes in remote areas. Due to the severity of the problem, law enforcement has been making methamphetamine eradication a major priority. One of the big problems with methamphetamine manufacturers is the fact that they are often also seriously addicted to the drug they manufacture and sell. Once arrested, they may serve some time only to be released and resume the manufacture of the methamphetamine.
The Manufacture of Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine can be manufactured in any room of an apartment. The chemicals used are commonly available from the hardware store, paint store and online from chemical supply houses. All the ingredients used in the manufacture of methamphetamine are completely legal. Many of these ingredients are highly flammable, volatile and poisonous. Often a methamphetamine lab is discovered due to a fire or explosion.
What to Look For During Your Inspections
An operating methamphetamine lab will be simple to spot. You will see chemicals, propane tanks, burnt cookware, glassware, bottles of chemicals, and be struck with the odor of the noxious substances used in the manufacturing process. The problem is that in order to see it, you will need to enter the unit. Many property managers fail to conduct regular inspections of their properties and assume if the property looks nice and neat from the outside, an interior inspection is not necessary. All managers need to implement a policy of routine interior and exterior inspections. The interior inspection may be conducted less frequently than the exterior inspection, but in any event, inspections must be done on a regular basis. Severe damage can be done to an extremely valuable asset, and had an inspection been done sooner, often the damage could have been detected, stopped, or the resident could have been removed from the premises.
Items Which Could Indicate a Methamphetamine Lab
Glass jars with liquids or residues, large numbers of boxes of over-the-counter cold tablets, bottles of red phosphorous, iodine, sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, marked and unmarked bottles with colored or white solid on the bottom, coffee filters, strong noxious orders, laboratory type glassware, burnt cookware or frying pans, kerosene, paint thinners, acetone and starting fluid, piles of rechargeable batteries, propane tanks, pressure cookers, ice tea jars, gasoline cans with tubing.
Note: Almost all the above listed items are common by themselves. It is the collection of the items in one area which should raise some serious suspicion.
Unusual, paranoid behavior by the resident Nonpayment of rent, unemployment by the resident, blackened windows and drawn curtains, frequent visitors at all hours and excessive traffic, and, extensive security such as additional locks and reinforced doors
You Have Discovered a Methamphetamine Lab, Now What?
If you feel that there is the manufacture of methamphetamine on the premises, you should notify local law enforcement immediately. You should insist that they come with you to do an inspection, as often law enforcement does not immediately wish to shut down drug operations, but unfortunately want to watch the unit in question in operation for an extended period of time to get the “bigger fish”, or arrest a larger number of people. Notify your attorney immediately, and do not serve any notices without the attorney’s consultation and advice. Methamphetamine labs are extremely dangerous and sometimes booby trapped. Do not enter the unit again if you have strong suspicions, and leave this to the professionals.
Remediation and the Law
Many states are enacting laws which require complicated and expensive testing and remediation procedures based on the presence of certain chemicals in a rental unit. Sometimes the amount of the chemical needed to trigger remediation is so minute, it borders on absurdity. Some states have enacted laws which will require disclosure to future residents or adjacent residents. We are watching the laws carefully so Florida does not become one of those states. If your local municipality is dealing with this issue, please feel free to contact our office. Often local municipalities come up with ordinances that have not been properly thought out. We do not need the manager to become the victim in this war on drugs.
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- THE CURABLE NONCOMPLIANCE EXAMINED PART 2
- THE WRIT OF POSSESSION – WHAT IT IS
- THE WRIT OF POSSESSION AND THE FULL UNIT
- WORK ORDER COMPANY POLICY AND THE LAW