Crime & Courts

Traffic stop nets rolling meth lab

Maize police officers discovered most of the ingredients needed to manufacture meth in a Jeep stopped in northwest Wichita.

"I couldn't even tell you the last time we got a meth lab out of a car," Maize Lt. Craig Brasser said.

Two officers pulled over a Jeep near the Sports Authority store at NewMarket Square shortly after 2 a.m. on a traffic violation. The driver sped away as the officers approached.

A chase through surrounding neighborhoods ensued before the 47-year-old driver bailed out near 22nd and Parkview. He was caught a short distance away, and a female passenger in her 30s was also taken into custody.

As officers were taking the woman into custody, Brasser said, they spotted several ingredients used in making meth in the Jeep.

"They had everything in the car for the lab except for the anhydrous (ammonia) and the heat," Brasser said.

The investigation led authorities to a hotel room at the Deluxe Inn at 8401 West Kellogg, where they found instructions on how to make the meth and a plan to steal anhydrous from an agricultural business in Clonmel.

"They were planning to go out (Wednesday) to get it," Brasser said. "They knew exactly what they were doing."

During the follow-up investigation, authorities learned the driver was wanted on a parole violation related to a homicide in Texas, Brasser said.

The man and woman were booked into the Sedgwick County Jail.