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Home meth lab site of bust

Narcotics agents arrested two people early Monday after finding the makings of a home methamphetamine lab in an area near Rollins Lake off Highway 174.

“The lab has been here a long time,” Nevada County Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Evans said at 6:30 a.m., half an hour after deputies with the sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force served a search warrant on the home.

Monday’s bust sounded an unusual note in an era of declining home-based meth kitchens. Most of the area’s methamphetamine comes from large laboratories in California and western states operated by Mexican drug cartels, which are moving operations rapidly into Mexico, officials have said.



The search capped a lengthy investigation by the narcotics task force, spurred by several anonymous tips, Evans said.

“It was obvious there was a lab as soon as we got here,” Det. Justin Martin said. The smell of chemicals was an immediate giveaway, he said.




Glass containers full of miscellaneous chemicals littered a shed on the property. Two narcotics agents dressed in protective suits, rubber boots, gloves and respirators handled the containers, which included Red Devil Dye, hydrochloric acid, acetone and toluene.

Agents arrested Darren McCullough, 41, on suspicion of manufacturing meth. He appeared to have been living at the residence with his mother, who was not arrested.

Police also arrested Kelly Kehn, of Grass Valley, on a warrant. She appeared to also be living at the residence.

The sheriff’s office last had contact with McCullough in 1997 when officers arrested him for drug possession, Evans said.

The investigation continues, he said.

Both women could be charged with manufacturing methamphetamine if evidence points to any involvement with the lab, Martin said.

After narcotics unit officers process the containers and other evidence collected at the scene, the evidence will be tested for fingerprints, Martin said.

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To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@theunion.com or call 477-4236.


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