WI: Bond set at $100K for suspect in Langlade County meth lab

CBS News –

Court documents state pseudoephedrine purchase records from the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) showed Hawley started purchasing pseudoephedrine in January 2018 and last purchased pseudoephedrine until Jan. 2, 2021.

WHITE LAKE, Wis. (WSAW) – Bond has been set at $100,000 cash for the 39-year-old White Lake man arrested after investigators said they discovered a meth lab in his garage.

George Hawley is charged with 11 counts related to drug use and methamphetamine manufacturing, including first-degree recklessly endangering safety.

Last month, the Wisconsin State Department of Justice Division response team said they removed 60 containers used to make methamphetamine along with more than 1,000 used needles from the property in the town of Wolf River.

Investigators said in this particular meth lab, the suspect would mix the volatile ingredients in one container—a soda bottle– to create the drug. The method, called one-pot or shake and bake, is extremely dangerous as numerous factors including oxygen and wrong movement can cause the bottles to explode. A press release from the Langlade County Sheriff’s Department said some of the bottles had exploded by the time they were found.

Sheriff Mark Westen called the operation a ‘surprising discovery’ which he said was due to the number of reaction vessels that were found. He said it’s been a while since they’ve uncovered production at this magnitude.

Court documents state pseudoephedrine purchase records from the National Precursor Log Exchange showed Hawley started purchasing pseudoephedrine in January 2018 and last purchased pseudoephedrine until Jan. 2, 2021. During those 37 months, he purchased pseudoephedrine every month except for two, generally at a rate of two to three times per month. During that time period, he purchased pseudoephedrine 65 times.

Members of the Wisconsin State Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation and Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response Team were requested at the scene. CLEAR Team members also found and safely removed hazardous chemicals, fuels, medications, and other precursors used in the production of methamphetamine.

The Langlade County Health Department responded and condemned the garage. The scene took approximately 9 hours to clean-up.

A judge set an adjourned initial appearance date for May 3– giving Hawley time to obtain an attorney.

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