BENTON -- Two Mississippi County residents were taken into custody Thursday following a late night vehicle stop on Wednesday night, that resulted in the seizure of a rolling meth lab.
The names of the suspects are being withheld pending filing of formal charges, according to a Thursday news release from Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter.
The vehicle stop began after 10 p.m. Wednesday, when Deputy Paul Johnson noticed a suspicious vehicle parked in a field off a county road in southern Scott County. When he stopped the vehicle to see if they had been trespassing on private property, Johnson noticed a strong odor of anhydrous ammonia coming from the vehicle. After speaking with the suspects, Johnson received permission to search the vehicle, where he found more precursors to the manufacture of mehtamphetamine. The pair was then arrested and transported to the Scott County Jail.
Once at jail, permission was received to search the suspects' Mississippi County home, and Mississippi County Sheriff authorities were contacted and conducted the search, where no contraband was located.
"This is why we patrol at night instead of sitting at the office waiting for the phone to ring," Walter said. "Criminals are vulnerable when they are mobile, but we have to be out there where they are to interdict them, to take advantage of this vulnerability. Our job is to make criminal enterprise in Scott County too expensive for those who practice it."
One of the subjects told Walter that when they are finished with a meth lab, they normally just dump it in a ditch somewhere.
"This is a major environmental problem, and is something we take very seriously," Walter said. "We have a deputy who is specially trained to dispose of these labs, and who has to take stringent precautions when disposing of a lab, and to have these criminals just dumping them along the road is a very real danger to everyone in Scott County."