Authorities discovered a suitcase that "had all the makings to have another (meth) lab" in the trunk of Mansfield man suspected of co-operating a lab in a Norwalk apartment.
Norwalk Police Detective Sgt. Seth Fry said a resident of the Bouscay Avenue apartments informed police there were "frequent trips" from the apartment to the vehicle.
Police obtained a signed search warrant from municipal court judge John Ridge to search the car. They opened the trunk and found what they suspect to be meth, which they sent to a state lab as well as other evidence.
(NOTE - To see pictures of the vehicle search, click HERE.)
Fry said potential additional charges of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for manufacturing of drugs and possession of meth will be presented to a grand jury. Fry said authorities won't know how much meth was in the trunk until they get a lab report.
Paul Prince, 33, of Mansfield, who owns the car, admitted he knocked over a container with chemical byproducts that started the fire on Friday at an apartment suspected of containing a meth labs, Fry said.
Prince and James J. Arthur II, 29, of Galion, were charged with one count each of illegal manufacturing of methamphetamine. The first-degree felony is punishable by three to 11 years in prison.
Police said when they arrived, "officers announced their presence and were also able to see persons peering out of the upstairs window where the lab was located." Police said they saw Prince running from the upstairs bedroom to the bathroom once the fire started.
"Officers quickly removed four adults and a 3-year-old child from the apartment," Fry said.
Police identified the boy as the son of one of the arrested suspects, Allen E. Mobberly, 32. Fry said police determined through interviews that Mobberly had allowed other people to stay at the apartment. Mobberly was charged with permitting drug abuse and child endangering.
"They knew some people who were living in Norwalk," Fry said, referring to the suspects.
Light said the people who were cooking the methamphetamine had no thought of the danger they were putting themselves in, much less the neighbors.