RCMP have confirmed that the drug lab found hidden in an Alhambra home did not belong to the homeowner who found it.
On Monday, the homeowner discovered the lab in a concealed area in the basement of an addition built onto the mobile home his family had been living in for about one and a half years.
“We want to make it really clear they had nothing to do with it. It was old,” said RCMP Sgt. Patrick Webb on Tuesday.
The homeowner immediately called RCMP when he found the lab on Monday morning while preparing to move the mobile home in order to build a house on the property.
“He did exactly the right thing. Anyone who has any suspicion that they are in the presence of a lab should get out of that area as soon as possible and let law enforcement know because it could be very harmful,” Webb said.
RCMP, a hazardous material team and emergency workers quickly blocked off the entrance to the hamlet east of Rocky Mountain House.
Eventually, the blockade was pulled back to within a few blocks of the home.
Webb wouldn’t say what kind of lab it was, how large it was or how long it would take to clean up.
“If it’s on the small side, just a few buckets and piping, and stuff like that, it can be taken away and bundled up for disposal. If there’s a lot of it, it may take a few days to get it out of there.”
Labs can operate anywhere, even in vehicles. They aren’t discovered very often but police know clandestine labs are out there, Webb said.
Some labs are used to produce methamphetamine (crystal meth). They are extremely dangerous, with toxic chemicals and the possibility they can explode. Other labs produce hashish oil or process marijuana, he said.
“It depends so much on supply and demand.”
Webb couldn’t predict how long the investigation will take.