Police make surprising find in Salt Lake apartment: A meth lab

Sources: Meth lab found in Salt Lake apartment

SALT LAKE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu police made a rare discovery inside a Salt Lake apartment Friday: They found a crystal methamphetamine lab.

Sources say the Honolulu Police Department got details about the suspected meth lab from an informant. A man was home when police knocked on the door and sources say he allowed officers to go in.

That's where sources say officers found a crystalline substance in different chemical states inside beakers and bowls. A stolen firearm and heroin were also discovered, sources say.

Hawaii News Now law enforcement expert Tommy Aiu said meth labs are rare in Hawaii -- and it's even more rare to find a meth lab in an apartment.

"We usually just get the product in its final form and then it's sold and distributed to users as crystal meth," said Aiu.

"Most labs on the mainland are done in an isolated area like the desert or in an area that is away from a community because of the fumes involved, because of the potential for a fire," he added.

Aiu also said the police find Friday could be a conversion lab or a place where meth is purified.

The high-rise apartment where police made their find is within walking distance of Moanalua High School, which Aiu said could mean additional charges.

But the most severe concern, he said, is the threat to neighbors and the apartment complex as a whole because chemicals used in creating and purifying crystal meth.

"Some of those can be very volatile and flammable. If you don't know how to do it, it can end up in explosion," he said.

"Aside from that, the fumes that are generated from this process are very noxious and cause respiratory failure. It's a very hazardous undertaking."

Additional information on arrests made in relation to the lab weren't immediately available.

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