Des Moines Police Bust Meth Lab - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Christina Palladino, ABC5 Reporter

Des Moines Police Bust Meth Lab

A tip and a good sense of smell led Des Moines police straight to a meth lab right across from the fairgrounds Thursday morning.

The Accent neighborhood association in tipped off police about suspicious drug activity inside this home at 3202 East University.

The tip turned into several arrests in the middle of an active meth lab.

"To be able to catch it when they were cooking and having a neighbor call, it's just a good job by Sgt. Valdez, and also by the neighborhood to be wary of what's going on in the neighborhood, recognize what's criminal activity and report it to police," says Des Moines Police Spokesman Sergeant Jeff Edwards.

Police arrested 57 year old Deborah Thornton, who lived at the home where the meth lab was broken up.

Also arrested, 33 year old Jennifer Synder of Des Moines, 37 year old Shawn Lilland, and 35 year old Matt Freeborn, after police checking on the tip smelled the chemicals.

Neighbors say they're not surprised to hear about the bust in this home.

"You can smell it in several different neighborhoods when you drive around here," says neighbor Bobbi Allison.

Allison says there have been previous problems with meth labs in the neighborhood.

"It seemed like every time we turned around, someone within a couple of blocks of us was getting busted for that," she says.

And police say without tips from the public about suspicious activity in their neighborhoods, many arrests wouldn't be made.

In addition to the meth, police found marijuana, other drug paraphernalia and scales.

The hazmat team came in and cleared out any materials that could be dangerous to the rest of the area.

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