US

New Details Emerge In Alleged Federal Building Turned Meth Lab

Daily Caller News Foundation logo

New details have emerged concerning the explosion of an alleged meth lab that rocked a government laboratory near Washington, D.C., last month.

Following the explosion at the National Institute of Standards Technology, Rep. Lamar Smith, who chairs the congressional committee that oversees the organization, ordered a full investigation of the event.

According to documents from the congressional inquiry obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation, shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday, July 18, a heat alarm activated in building 236 on the NIST campus. When firefighters arrived, they found a member of the NIST security force with severe burns to his hands and signs of an explosion.

Based on their observations, the firefighters requested police assistance. Shortly after police arrived, the officers requested the assistance of a Montgomery County Police Department drug detection canine unit.

Officials on the scene said the chemicals found in the room where the explosion occured were consistent with the chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

It was later discovered that the security guard served as a police lieutenant at the NIST campus, a congressional staffer told TheDCNF.

The officer, who had served previously as the acting Chief of Police at the NIST campus, resigned from his position the following day. The officer was not charged with a crime in connection with the explosion, though the Federal Bureau of Investigation is still investigating the incident.

A spokesperson for the FBI did not return request for comment about the state of the investigation into the former lieutenant’s alleged meth lab.

While the House science, space and technology committee investigates the meth lab incident, it will examine the way NIST conducts background checks for the police officers it hires. The committee also seeks to learn how much time the police officer spent in the building housing the suspected meth lab in recent months, according to the staffer.

In a statement released around the time of the incident, Smith said he was astounded that the former police chief at NIST could be involved in running a secret meth lab at a federal research facility.

“Even Hollywood couldn’t have imagined this plot twist,’ Smith said. ‘As the science committee expands its investigation, it is becoming clear we must better monitor those with access to our nation’s high-tech research facilities.”

Follow Josh on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.