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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Makeshift Speed Lab Discovered in Car

May 18, 2000

ALHAMBRA — Police discovered a makeshift methamphetamine lab in a car and arrested two people late Tuesday night in what started out as a routine traffic stop.

A police officer stopped the car for an equipment violation at 11 p.m. on Mission Boulevard in northwest Alhambra, said Sgt. John Smith. The officer noticed a flask filled with clear liquid on the driver's lap. The driver said the liquid was iodine and told the officer he also had muriatic acid, used as a cleaning agent, in his trunk.

During a search of the car, which had Tennessee plates, the officer found other chemicals, bottles and tools commonly used to make the drug methamphetamine. Books and journals with instructions on how to make bombs out of ordinary household items were also found--though none of those ingredients were in the car, Smith said.

A team from the state Bureau of Narcotics was called in to identify and dispose of the chemicals. None of the substances were considered hazardous.

The driver was booked on suspicion of manufacturing a controlled substance. A teenage passenger was released to the custody of his parents, Smith said.

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