Oct 7, 2012 10:00 PM by Tara Grimes - MTN News
GREAT FALLS- A pair of men are facing charges for their alleged roles in a meth lab that was found on Sunday morning in a Great Falls neighborhood.
James Hershey and Robert Spargur are both facing charges of operation of a clandestine lab, a felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.
Great Falls police say they arrived at 1014 4th Ave South at 1 a.m. where they found a car belonging to David Trine, a man wanted for several outstanding warrants.
After an investigation they received information that Trine and five other people were inside the home, along with a meth lab.
Officer Chris Hickman says he and the Russell Country Drug Task Force were called to the scene, finding themselves in a tough situation.
"In terms of being able to get into the house because Mr. Trine initially elected not to come out of the house, so we established home phone communications and after several hours we were able to have him exit the home," Hickman said.
Hickman says they found their first-ever "one pot" method meth lab in Great Falls inside the home, in which meth is made in small plastic bottles - a method that is highly flammable.
"These are much more dangerous, they're very, very volatile, you can see in some of the bottles where they collapsed. So these things burst, they get knocked over. There's actually a boiling process that takes place where there's actually flames that can be seen inside the container," Hickman explained.
Longfellow Elementary School is only two blocks from the home, a factor that Hickman says could result in a harsher punishment on those involved.
"It's pretty disconcerting for us to know that these things are taking place anywhere, much less than a thousand feet from the school," he noted.
A specialized Hazardous Material Recovery Team from Salt Lake City is expected to arrive on Sunday night; until that time, Great Falls police officers are maintaining the area for the public's safety.
Trine was also taken into custody this morning during the bust for two outstanding warrants totaling $20,000, both involving his failure to abide by previously set court conditions.
Officials say his involvement with Spargur and Hershey is still unclear at this time.