‘Ottawa’ ‘Hoarder’ Charged with Cooking Meth, Police Say after three-day Lowertown Operation
A 40-year-old man is facing charges after police stumbled on a suspected methamphetamine lab in a Lowertown apartment while checking that he was okay.
Patrol officers were dispatched to a fourth-floor apartment in the building near the intersection of Barber Street and Beausoleil Drive just before 10 p.m. Sunday to check on the well-being of the occupant at the request of his family.
They were overwhelmed by the smell of chemicals coming from the place.
Police followed up with the man’s family and learned that he’d tried to “cook” crystal meth before.
The man was taken to the hospital and adjacent apartments were cleared.
Meanwhile, the fire department’s Hazmat team was called and determined there was no risk of an explosion and ventilated and secured the scene.
With the help of the OPP’s clandestine laboratory response team, the Hazmat unit and paramedics, officers with the drug unit cleared the apartment of chemicals and sent samples to Health Canada for testing.
That process didn’t wrap up until about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday because of the man’s “hoarding lifestyle,” police said.
Laurence Wheatcroft was held in custody on charges of unlawfully producing a schedule 1 substance and possessing chemicals/substances to be used to produce a schedule 1 substance.
Neighbours said that they first noticed police cruisers Sunday night.
On Tuesday, the building was still ringed with police tape, a Hazmat tent, police command centre, firetrucks and police cars.