ELKHART — A short foot chase and arrest led to a subsequent arrest on a preliminary charge of manufacturing methamphetamine Saturday in Elkhart.
Billy Johnson, 31, of 2341 Morton Ave., got out of a vehicle when police made a traffic stop in the area of Hively and Pleasant Plain avenues around 5 p.m., according to a probable cause affidavit.
The driver of the vehicle told police Johnson had gotten out of the car just before the traffic stop, and gave consent for police to search his vehicle. Inside, police found gallon-sized baggies and coffee filters.
After a short pursuit, police caught Johnson and arrested him on an active warrant and on a preliminary charge of resisting law enforcement. While conducting a search on Johnson’s person, police noticed an odor associated with chemicals found in a methamphetamine lab. They found a key to a Residential Inn room, and Johnson said he was not staying at that room, but a woman named Heather was.
Police went to the Residential Inn room that was occupied by a woman who identified herself as Nichole Papet.
According to the probable cause affidavit, as soon as Papet opened the door, officers detected a strong chemical odor that is associated with chemicals used to manufacture meth. Police saw a one-pot reaction vessel, commonly used to manufacture meth, on a table, and asked Papet and another person who was identified as Heather Poe to leave the room. They left the door open to allow ventilation.
After Papet signed a written consent, police searched the room, where they found two active one-pot vessels with chemicals associated with those used to manufacture meth. Police also found other items associated with the process of manufacturing meth, including baggies, sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid and three empty boxes of a brand of pseudoephedrine. A white powdery substance was found, which later tested positive for meth.
Papet, 27, said she was aware of the meth labs in the room she was renting, but she said she did not attempt to hide the evidence. She also denied any involvement in the process of manufacturing meth.
Poe, 25, of 616 C.R. 3, Elkhart, told police she saw several people smoking when she entered the room, and that when police knocked she saw Papet running to the bathroom with a bottle, which was one of the two bottles found by police during the search.
Papet was arrested on a preliminary charge of manufacturing meth. Poe was arrested on a preliminary charge of visiting a common nuisance.
Formal charges have not been filed for any of the three, who are booked at the Elkhart County Jail.