ALLIANCE, Ohio — Police make a disturbing discovery when they bust two people accused of operating a mobile meth lab.
Alliance police said they confiscated ingredients to make meth-amphetamine from an SUV around 3:30 p.m. Monday.
They included acid, lithium from batteries and ammonia nitrate.
Also discovered in the vehicle was a 16-month-old child.
“Within two feet inside the vehicle of the child in the back seat, just behind the baby seat, there was muriatic acid, which is one of the precursors in the manufacturing of meth, which was also leaking inside the vehicle, I could notice the fumes,” said Alliance police detective Robert J. Rajcan, II.
Police said they discovered the chemicals, used to make the drug, when they pulled over Joshua Middleton, 28, for a traffic stop.
The child’s mother, Samantha Woolf, 21, was riding in the front seat.
“She was upset and stuff like that, but I don’t think it really hit home of the effects that the child could have from this meth lab that was inside the vehicle,” said Rajcan.
Middleton and Woolf have been charged with offenses that include child endangering and drug possession.
Alliance police said Middleton is a known meth user and manufacturer.
Police said the chemicals found in the SUV could pose a danger to more than just the people inside the vehicle.
“He pulled into a residential area. It would be hazardous to all the residents, I would say, within a two or three block radius, if that would’ve been an active meth lab and it did explode or the fumes got out,” he said.
Detective Robert Racjan said meth is extremely addictive.
He said it’s also extremely dangerous.
Investigators had to call in a HazMat team to decontaminate the car, and both Joshua and Samantha had to be decontaminated before being taken to the Stark County jail.
“You could actually smell the fumes on their clothes from being around it, and when you’re ingesting that stuff into your system, you’re ingesting hazardous materials basically into your body. Your pores are basically gonna sweat out a fumes smell,” said Rajcan.
The 16-month-old is staying with relatives and is said to be doing fine.
Samantha Woolf was being held in the Stark County jail on $25,000 bond.
Joshua Middleton was being held on $100,000 bond.
Both are due in court Wednesday afternoon.