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State crime officials clear materials from suspected meth lab

State officials clean up a suspected methamphetamine laboratory last Wednesday in Wellington. The suspected clandestine operation was discovered after a small fire broke out in the private residence.

According to Wellington Police Chief Lee Barry, the fire was reportedly ignited by resident Terry Gibson, age 36, when the suspect was attempting to remove tips of matches.

Motorists passing by the home discovered the smoke and called for emergency personnel to respond to the scene.

By the time fire crews arrived at the house, Gibson had put the fire out and purportedly refused to allow the emergency personnel access to the inside the private residence.

The man's behavior prompted suspicion and a warrant was obtained to search the premises.

When drug enforcement officials entered the residence, the authorities discovered a large suspected meth lab set up in the home.

"There were weapons and cameras set up around the house and he had what officers believe to be a large lab in operation. The home was a complete disaster and was unlivable," indicated Barry.

After the suspected lab was discovered, state crime officials arrived in the area to dismantle the crime scene. After they toured the home, the authorities recommended that the house be condemned because of purported health hazards.

A Southeastern Utah Health District representative visited the private residence and ordered the house to be condemned.

State officials started tearing down the suspected clandestine lab. As the authorities exited the home, each item was documented one at a time. Carbon Sheriff James Cordova explained that it took the team approximately eight hours to clean up the scene. Any non-drug related mess will remain in place and be the responsibility of the homeowner to clean or destroy.

Cordova pointed out that the operation in Wellington was one of the largest suspected meth labs discovered in the state for quite some time.

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