Meth lab found
Members of the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response Task Force, including members from the Merrill Police Department, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and Special Agents from the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, are investigating approximately 46 meth labs at a meth cooking and dump site in a rural wooded area in the Town of Corning. The site is off Tower Road about a mile north of Cty. M.
According to detective Tim Fisher of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, each lab constitutes a site where methamphetamine was produced.
“It can be something as small as a container used to transport chemicals,” he said. “With a meth lab, it can take place in something as small as the trunk of a car.”
The discovery and clean-up took place the week of May 7. The investigation is ongoing with several items of evidence being processed and forwarded to the state crime labs for analysis. Among the items discovered were various acids and toxic chemicals used in the methamphetamine manufacturing process, Fischer said.
Because of the hazardous materials used in making methamphetamine, the lab sites can be dangerous to humans and the environment, Fischer noted.
“If people find something in the woods, they should stay clear, mark the area and notify local law enforcement,” he said. “If something looks like it’s not supposed to be there, it probably isn’t supposed to be.”
Members of the task force discovered similar meth labs a short distance away from the most recent find in November of 2012. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the two sites appear to be connected.
A 36-year-old Merrill man, Christopher Meindel, was arrested and charged in connection to the November 2012 meth lab. In that case, materials used in manufacturing methamphetamine were found in two duffel bags and an LP tank in a wooded area off Tower Road. According to court records, the property owner had also caught Meindel dumping garbage, found to contain methamphetamine waste, on the property in 2011.
Meindel was released on a signature bond and has since fled the area. Meindel was living at a probation / parole housing unit on East Main Street in Merrill while awaiting further court appearances. On Tuesday, May 14, Meindel reported to his probation agent for a regular meeting. When he was requested to take a urine test to check for the presence of drugs, Meindel refused and fled the office.
The Lincoln County Circuit Court has issued felony arrest warrants for Meindel.
He is described as 5’10”, 170 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes. He has multiple tattoos on both arms.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of Christoper D. Meindel, you are asked to call the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 715-536-6272. Callers may also call Crime Stoppers at 715-536-3726. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.