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Wild ride, crash follow meth-lab stakeout

Pl. Grove police arrest 4; meth equipment found

PLEASANT GROVE — A car accompanying a meth lab on wheels led police on a wild ride Monday morning after four people left the scene of a routine stakeout.

According to Capt. Cody Cullimore of the Pleasant Grove Police Department, officers were responding to information that indicated a home located in the 200 West block of Center Street had been operating as a meth lab for some time.

After watching the home for several hours, police spotted a red pickup truck and a small car leaving the home around 7 a.m. Based on their surveillance, police followed the vehicles and attempted to stop both for minor traffic violations.

The driver of the red truck cooperated with police, Cullimore said, stopping along State Street where police discovered chemicals and equipment for manufacturing methamphetamine in the back. Police arrested two males and one female riding in the truck.

"Basically, everything that had been in the house was in the back of the truck," Cullimore said. "We were able to enter the house and determine that everything had been cleared out."

The driver of the car refused to stop, leading police on a chase through north Utah County into Lehi where the car collided with a Pleasant Grove police vehicle. That collision forced the adult male driver out of the car, where he was subsequently arrested.

Felony charges against all four individuals are being screened by the Utah County Attorney's Office. A possible federal charge may be brought against the individuals through the U.S. attorney for Utah.

Cullimore said the case is further evidence that methamphetamine production is a problem in Utah County. While Pleasant Grove doesn't have many labs, Cullimore said Utah County is becoming a meth hotbed.

"Meth, in and of itself, is the biggest drug problem in Utah," Cullimore said. "It's been a problem for years. We have been cracking down the best we can."

"It's incredible to see what this stuff does to people's lives," Cullimore added. "It just destroys them."


E-MAIL: lsanderson@desnews.com