Two Key West men are in the Monroe County jail, charged early Saturday with operating a meth lab out of a van on Stock Island.
The van's owner, 47-year-old John Day, whom jail records say is a sailboat rigger, and Scott Gunter, 24, listed as a laborer, are charged with felony counts production and manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia. Gunter is also charged with possession of marijuana.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says its Special Investigations Unit received information the pair might be making and selling meth in an old van in the Stock Island area.
Deputy Sean Moran and Reserve Deputy Jon Doughtry were in the area of the Tom Thumb convenience store on Stock Island at 1:20 a.m. when they spotted an old van with its back doors open and two men standing behind it. As they pulled up, one of the men threw something into a dumpster, Deputy Becky Herrin said.
She said it turned out to be a pill bottle with someone else's name on it; it had 64 pills inside that were later identified as Risperidone, an anti-psychotic drug.
Sgt. Evan Calhoun then arrived and asked Day if he could search van; he said yes, Herrin said. Found inside were various chemicals and bottles of liquid commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine, she said. Detectives from the Special Investigations Unit responded and confirmed it appeared the men had been operating a rolling meth lab.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was notified and responded to help handle the chemicals.
Day has previous Monroe County arrests for violating boat-safety rules.