Elkhart man found with active meth lab

A man was arrested a on preliminary charge of dealing in meth.
Posted on June 18, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on June 18, 2013 at 11:21 a.m.

ELKHART — Police arrested a man and a woman after they found an active methamphetamine lab in a car while conducting a search Thursday evening, June 13, on the north side of Elkhart.

Paul Hunter, 25, of Elkhart, was arrested on preliminary charges of manufacturing meth, possession of meth, possession of precursors and possession of paraphernalia. Celia Long, 33, of Elkhart, was arrested on two active county warrants.

According to the probable cause affidavit for Hunter’s case, a police officer approached Long outside Walgreens, 1400 Cassopolis St., because he knew that she was driving while suspended and that she had two warrants from Elkhart County. Long was arrested then.

The officer approached Hunter, who was sitting in the passenger side of Long’s car, to give him the keys to the vehicle. But as soon as he got close to the car, the officer detected a strong smell of marijuana and saw small plastic bags near the area where Hunter was sitting, the affidavit said.

The officer asked Hunter to step out of the car and searched him, finding a silver flashlight, a black cloth with a clear pipe that had burn marks on it, and five small plastic bags containing a substance that tested positive for meth.

A police dog led officers to find two meth labs inside a backpack which Hunter had been holding between his legs.

Police also found other precursors used commonly to manufacture meth inside the car.

Hunter has not been formally charged as of Monday afternoon, but he remains booked at the Elkhart County jail on a $150,000 bond.

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