Published on January 30, 2013
Insp. Marlene Jesso speaks to reporters today in St. John's. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
Published on October 19, 2012
Last month, a west end St. John’s neighbourhood was in the news when police evacuated a number of houses after finding a suspected drug lab at a home on the corner of Albany Place and Albany Street. While there’s lots of talk about crime, a survey exclusive to The Telegram has found people still feel metro is a relatively safe place to live. — Telegram file photo
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary says chemicals seized from a home on Albany Street in St. John’s last fall were capable of creating a number of synthetic drugs.
Insp. Marlene Jesso, who spoke with reporters this afternoon, said all necessary solvents and a tree bark called psychotria viridis were on hand to create dimethyltryptamine, also known as DMT.
Most of the chemicals needed to create the synthetic drug methamphetamine were also present in the home, though Jesso said police did not find red phosphorus, another component of the drug.
Police also found harmaline, a mild hallucinogen, at the house, along with a quantity of marijuana.
Jesso classified the chemicals found at the home as pharmaceutical grade and said they were illegal to possess. She said police believe they would have been purchased through the Internet.
The items were seized from the home on Albany Street on Sept. 21, 2012. Police and the St. John’s Regional Fire Department were initially called to the home that morning. Residents of the area were evacuated from their homes due to the nature of the hazardous materials found inside.
A search warrant was executed later that evening.
Jesso said the investigation has concluded.
The resident of the home died, and Jesso would not comment on the cause of death, though she did confirm it was not criminal in nature.
The RNC has confirmed the discovery of a clandestine laboratory on Albany Street in St. John’s in September.
The RNC said today it has received the laboratory analysis for the items seized from Albany Street last Sept. 21.
A news release notes the finished product analysis was inconclusive, however, there were a number of chemicals which had been located in the residence.
These chemicals included sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, Harmaline (a mild hallucinogen|c), as well as a number of other chemicals. These types of chemicals are consistent with the manufacturing of synthetic drugs. A quantity of marijuana had also been located in the home.
Details of the case are that on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 at approximately 11:30 a.m., members from the RNC patrol services, Drug Investigative Unit and Explosive Disposal Unit, along with members from St. John’s Regional Fire Department and RCMP, responded to a residence on Albany Street. At that point unknown hazardous materials were discovered. The residents in the area were evacuated from their homes as a precaution. It was believed that the chemicals located were consistent with a possible clandestine laboratory.
At approximately 10 p.m. that day, the clandestine lab teams from the RNC and RCMP, in conjunction with the fire department, executed a search warrant at the home. Police recovered a large quantity of chemicals consistent with a drug-manufacturing operation.