Albany Street back to normal

Colin MacLean
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Police investigate possible drug lab where a large quantity of chemicals were found

This house at the corner of Albany Street and Albany Place in St. John’s was the scene of a major RNC operation on Friday. A medical call to the home led officers to discover a suspected drug lab. No charges have been laid yet in relation to a subsequent search of the home. — Photo by Colin MacLean/The Telegram

Albany Street in St. John’s seemed like every other neighborhood in St. John’s on Saturday, the sun was shining and people were outside enjoying the late summer warmth.

You’d never guess the whole area had been evacuated less than 12 hours earlier.

The RNC is investigating a possible clandestine drug lab in a house at the corner of Albany Street and Albany Place, and residents in nearby homes were asked to leave the area Friday afternoon.

They weren’t allowed back until about 3:30 a.m. on Saturday.

The whole experience was crazy, said Jennifer Parsons, who lives on Albany Street.

“I’ve lived here all my life, 52 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” she said.

RNC Deputy Chief Bill Janes told reporters on Friday that officers responded to a medical emergency at the home and found, what police suspected, was criminal activity.

“We believe that we have some chemicals there that would be used in a clandestine lab, and that’s as much as we know now until we do a full investigation,” said Janes.

A man was taken to hospital, but Janes said at the time police did not know if the medical emergency is related to what’s being investigated.

RNC confirmed on Saturday that investigators found a large quantity of chemicals “that are consistent with the manufacturing of drugs” within the home.

The condition of the injured man and whether or not any charges have been laid in relation to the lab were both unknown as of press deadline Sunday.

Police did not release any more information over the weekend.  

Residents of the area reported seeing police carrying large containers from the home and washing them Friday night.

Everyone would like to know what’s going on, said Parsons.

All the residents, who spoke with The Telegram expressed surprise at the mere possibility of there being something illegal going on in the home.

“It’s pretty sad. ... You never know what’s in your back yard,” said Parsons.

Another man said that Albany Street is a quiet neighborhood and the kind of ruckus, like what happened Friday, is unheard of.

“Bottom line ... this stuff can happen anywhere today,” he said.

The RNC is investigating this incident and has indicated that more information could be released today. Check for regular updates as they become available.

Twitter: @TelegramMacLean

Geographic location: Albany Street, Albany Place

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