CARIBOU – A quiet residential area off Main Street in this Aroostook County town was the scene Tuesday afternoon of an investigation into an apparent methamphetamine lab.
Maine Drug Enforcement Agency investigators, dressed in special gear and using respirators, were going through a roped-off home at 37 Fontaine Drive.
Lucien Woo, the man occupying the home, was charged with violation of bail Monday night. Also arrested on a federal warrant was Adam Hafford, who was charged with firearms violations.
Darrell Crandall, MDEA division commander, was at the scene Tuesday afternoon.
Investigators were dressed in special gear to protect themselves from the chemicals and solvents used in making drugs, he said. The chemicals emit unhealthful fumes.
“We are seizing materials in what appears to be a methamphetamine lab operating at the site,” Crandall said. “No one has been arrested on drug charges or with operating a lab at this time. This is a hectic scene at the moment,” he said.
MDEA agents, according to Crandall, were just making a routine check of Woo on Monday night when they came onto what they believed to be a methamphetamine laboratory. Such checks were allowed under Woo’s bail conditions. Woo had been on bail on a charge of trafficking methamphetamine. He was arrested on the charge in May 2005.
On Monday night, MDEA agents secured the premises while seeking a search warrant for Woo’s residence.
Hafford just happened “to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Crandall said of his arrest.
The MDEA sought and acquired a search warrant for the premises.
The MDEA lab enforcement team arrived at the scene at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. They were still processing the scene, removing evidence at 4 p.m.
“While I won’t detail the evidence seized today, it seems clear that there was at least an attempt to manufacture methamphetamine at this location,” Crandall said. “It is considered a hazardous scene, absolutely.
“We have a large area around the house roped off,” he explained. “Only people with protective gear are allowed inside the residence.”
He said the team inside the home was expected to be there for some time.
Crandall said the home being searched is close to other homes in the area.
Woo, 32, has had many run-ins with law enforcement since 1993.
Along with his indictment by the Aroostook County grand jury on charges of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs last year, Woo was convicted of cultivating marijuana in December 2000. He received a four-month suspended jail term and paid a $500 fine.
He paid a $200 fine in July 1999 for possession of marijuana, a $100 fine for illegal possession of drug paraphernalia in June 1998, and a $200 fine for receiving stolen property in March 1993.