Meth ingredients found under bridge on 61 South

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 22, 2010

Components of a meth lab were seized Sunday from an unusual place — underneath a heavily traveled U.S. 61 bridge near Yokena.

Acting on information regarding methamphetamine in the community south of Vicksburg, Warren County Detective Sam Winchester found chemicals and utensils used for cooking the illegal narcotic in what looked like two camouflaged 5-gallon buckets that are often carried by hunters, Sheriff Martin Pace said.

Deputies and agents from the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics watched the area for a while, then seized the materials.

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The lab was “nothing you would see if you were not looking,” said Pace.

Inside the buckets, officials found caustic chemicals in jars along with baggies and filters used for packaging meth, Pace said. No finished product was found.

“It was evident that it had been used in a cook. Winchester kept it under surveillance for a while,” Pace said of the remains of the shake-and-bake lab he said had been prepared for pickup.

“Because of the way it was packaged, someone was to come back to get it,” said Pace.

The stakeout along the four-lane corridor was cut short because rain was forecast to begin any minute and officers feared the chemicals would spill into the water, the sheriff said.

“Obvious dangers were a curious child or if anybody was to take the top off the bucket, start opening jars and get a whiff of the caustic chemicals,” said Pace.

Shake-and-bake labs, in which chemicals are dumped into a container and shaken to make methamphetamine, are more volatile than stationary labs, Pace has said, because contents are shaken together in less-specific amounts.

Environmental officials from Jackson were called in to remove the hazardous materials left in the containers, Pace said.

Contact Tish Butts at