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The operation staged from the Burger King parking lot. EMS photo

Portable meth lab dismantled

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

What could have been a serious threat to public safety was removed on Sunday by the San Marcos Fire Department’s Hazmat Unit and the Hays County Narcotics Task Force.

Officers responding to a report of suspicious persons around 2 p.m. Sunday at the abandoned Burger King on the West Access Road discovered a transient camp behind the building and in it, a backpack  police say contained the makings of a clandestine methamphetamine lab.

One of the officers opened the backpack and found what were described as “several small containers” inside it. “One of them held an acidic powder that made contact with the officer’s skin, giving him a small, light burn,” the city said in a press release. EMS treated and released the officer.

Police then called in the hazmat unit, the Fire Marshal’s Office and the narcotics task force “to dismantle the lab and make the area safe.” The city said a “third party hazmat company was called to finish disposing of the substances in the backpack,” but did not name the company or say where it was called in from.

“Police have not identified anyone connected to the lab, and no arrests were made,” the press release said. “Officers found two people behind the business while responding to the initial suspicious person call and asked them to leave.”

Authorities were on the scene for about eight hours until about 10 p.m.

Components used to make the drug are extremely volatile, and the area backs up to a residential neighborhood.

The Daily Record was not permitted to speak directly to police about the incident.