Law enforcement personnel arrest meth lab suspect
Following a routine speeding traffic stop on U.S. Highway 6, Helper Police Officer Trevor Wood arrested a Colorado man on drug lab related charges Tuesday night.
Wood stopped a gray Dodge Intrepid for allegedly speeding at about 8:59 p.m. on Jan. 3 and reportedly discovered that the driver, Terry Eyre Durfee of Loma, had outstanding warrants for his arrest.
Durfee was the only occupant traveling inside the vehicle at the time of the traffic stop and the subject was placed under arrest for the outstanding warrants, confirmed Helper Police Chief George Zamantakis.
While making the arrest, Wood purportedly noticed what appeared to be iodine tablets, a substance used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, and other items of drug paraphernalia in the car.
The Carbon County hazardous material team was called to the scene to investigate the possible drug related incident.
After making a preliminary assessment at the scene, county Hazmat officials confirmed the presence of apparent hazardous drug-making materials inside the car.
The suspect was then decontaminated by the Hazmat crew and transported to the Carbon County Jail by law enforcement authorities.
Decontamination included stripping Durfee of his clothing and washing the man down with water at the scene, a necessary procedure when suspected hazardous chemicals are involved.
Officer Wood, too, required decontamination, and his police uniform and bulletproof vest were destroyed.
Chief Zamantakis then notified the federal drug enforcement agency of the arrest and called for the assistance from a specialized Hazmat crew from Utah County to search and secure the suspect vehicle.
The Utah County Hazmat crew is equipped with a large trailer that serves as a portable crime lab.
Evidence can be identified and processed at the scene of a suspected criminal incident.
Under the glare of portable light stands, the Hazmat crew members entered the suspect vehicle fully suited and with extreme caution.
Law enforcement representatives from the Carbon County Sheriff's Office, the Utah Highway Patrol, Utah County major crimes task force and the Helper City Fire Department along with a county ambulance crew assisted at the scene.
U.S. Highway 6 on the north end of Helper was restricted to one lane of traffic for several hours early Wednesday morning as law enforcement authorities and Hazmat officials processed evidence and secured the arrest site.
After the first Hazmat crew had identified the chemicals and secured evidence, a second crew from Salt Lake City under contract with the drug enforcement administration cleaned up the site by packaging, removing and disposing of materials not needed as evidence, pointed out Zamantakis.
Durfee was arrested on possession of a clandestine drug lab and precursors charges, both first degree felonies.
The subject was also booked into the county jail on unlawful possession/use of methamphetamine, possession of crystal iodine and speeding charges, concluded the Helper police chief.