There were no suspects in sight when police found many of the materials commonly used in manufacturing methamphetamine labs in the woods near a makeshift campsite in Rock Hill Monday afternoon, authorities say.
At about 3:30 p.m., a man called police to complain about potential trespassers living in the woods on his property, according to a Rock Hill police report. While clearing brush in the nearby wood line, the property manager found two abandoned tents in the area between Church and Mill streets, off Dave Lyle Boulevard.
Police searched the area and, 30 feet away from the road, discovered materials from a recently-used one-pot meth lab, the report states. Officials have said that one-pot meth labs, typically taking shape in soda or Gatorade bottles, are gaining popularity as the most common types of meth labs cooks and addicts use to manufacture the addictive drug.
Officers found several Walmart bags containing used coffee filters filled with white residue, the report states. One of the department’s street crimes officers found clear tubing, a bottle of Coleman camping fuel, one small bag of salt, wire mesh, a bottle of Drano, clear bottles filled with clear liquid and residue in them with tubing protruding from the top and an empty package of cold and sinus medicine. Pseudoephedrine, a common decongestant found in over-the-counter cold medication, is a key ingredient for making meth.
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Police continued searching the area, finding four tents total.
No suspects were on scene at the time, the report states. An agent with the county’s multijurisdictional drug enforcement unit responded to the scene and confirmed that the materials were ingredients for an inactive meth lab. A hazmat team was called to clean up the chemicals.
Last year, law enforcement uncovered 22 total meth labs in York County, doubling the number found in 2011 and 2012. Officials expect that trend to continue this year, and most likely exceed the number of labs they found in 2013.