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Ex-BYU student pleads guilty, sentenced for making meth again

Bryce Cazier
Bryce Cazier
Salt Lake County Jail

SALT LAKE CITY — A former BYU student who has been convicted and jailed for making methamphetamine inside his student apartment in Provo has again pleaded guilty to trying to make meth in a different case.

Bryce Cazier, 25, pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced second-degree felony count of attempted operation of a clandestine lab. He was sentenced to 24 months probation.

Cazier was charged August 2016 in 3rd District Court with attempting to operate a clandestine lab, a first-degree felony — charges that were enhanced because his lab in a Salt Lake apartment was within 500 feet of both a church and a school.

Cazier was arrested in May 2016 after his roommate "noticed the strong odor of ammonia" at 1928 E. Hillcrest Ave. (2520 South), according to charging documents. The roommate, knowing Cazier's history, called 911.

As police were questioning Cazier, they reported seeing a list on a table that included "sulfuric acid, Sudafed, Ice Cold Burst packs and Prestone." Cazier told investigators he was "experimenting with chemicals to make blue-colored crystals," the charges state, but then admitted he got "bored and wanted to start cooking meth again so he intentionally made ammonia to prove to himself he had not forgotten how to make meth."

Police also found a bread pan in the oven containing a large amount of white powder, charging documents state, and Drug Enforcement Administration agents found numerous precursor items throughout the apartment.

In 2014, Cazier pleaded guilty in 4th District Court to intent to operate a clandestine laboratory, a second-degree felony. He was originally arrested after police suspected he was making methamphetamine inside his student apartment in Provo, near the BYU campus.

Two roommates reported smelling something burning in his locked bedroom. After he left the apartment the next day, they picked the lock to his room and found suspicious glassware and chemicals.

Cazier's attorney maintained that Cazier had been making soap but also made meth as a "chemistry experiment."

Cazier avoided more serious charges as part of a plea deal and was sentenced to 60 days in jail. Prosecutors at the time said they agreed to recommend jail time instead of prison, partly because Cazier completed a substance abuse treatment program in St. George before his sentencing.