This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Meth lab busted in Woodland area (Minnesota)

CRIME: A marijuana-growing operation also was found in the house, and two men are awaiting charges.BY MARK STODGHILLNEWS TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERDuluth police will seek to condemn a house in what the police chief describes as one of the city's safest neighborhoods after a methamphetamine lab and marijuana-growing operation were uncovered there Monday.
Police Chief Roger Waller held a news conference at City Hall on Wednesday to announce that two men have been arrested in connection with a drug bust at 533 W. Redwing St. in Woodland.
A 34-year-old man and a 29-year-old man, both from Duluth, are being held in the St. Louis County Jail pending formal charges to be filed today.
The News Tribune generally does not identify suspects until they have been charged in court.
Waller said investigators are seeking charges of first-degree manufacture of methamphetamine, manufacture and cultivation of marijuana, firearms possession and drug possession. He said additional suspects may be arrested as the investigation continues.
The Minnesota State Patrol provided the information that resulted in the bust.
On Sunday, a trooper in Pine County stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. More than 4 pounds of marijuana with a street value of about $6,000 was recovered. That bust led investigators to the Duluth residence, although authorities did not provide further details.
Investigators with the Lake Superior Drug and Gang Task Force, -- made up of members from the Minnesota State Patrol and Duluth, Superior and Hermantown police departments -- executed a search warrant at the Woodland house on Monday. The Duluth Police Department's Tactical Response Team also took part in the operation because of an assessed risk.
The suspects were arrested without incident.
During the search of the home, investigators found a pipe bomb, which led to several residents of the neighborhood being evacuated from their homes.
The Minneapolis Police Department Bomb Squad responded to the scene and dismantled the clandestine drug lab. The pipe bomb did not contain explosive material, Waller said.
Investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration summoned a hazardous material contractor from Moorhead, Minn., to collect the chemicals and material from the site.
One of the suspects arrested was in possession of four handguns, cash, meth and drug-packaging material.
Waller said about 100 marijuana plants in various stages of growth were seized from the residence along with the meth materials.
He said the meth was in the final process of being cooked, but one step hadn't been finished when the search warrant was executed.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has estimated that 5 to 6 pounds of hazardous waste are generated for each pound of meth produced. The hazardous chemicals and waste may persist on building surfaces and furnishings.
Waller said investigators are working with the city Building Inspector's Office in preparing condemnation procedures for the house.
According to St. Louis County property tax records, the house is owned by a Bloomington, Minn., couple and has a 2005 estimated market value of $78,900.
Waller said the meth lab and marijuana growing operation are the first police have busted in the Woodland neighborhood.
"It's a quiet, residential neighborhood in probably one of the lowest-crime areas we have in the city, which just tells you that these clandestine drug labs can pop up anywhere," Waller said.
Minnesota State Patrol Capt. Kent Matthews, Superior Police Chief Floyd Peters and Hermantown Police Chief Dan Perich also took part in the news conference.
"The thing that we see all the time is people calling us up who are buying a house and saying they've heard something about meth production or someone busted for meth in that house and if that's true they don't want to buy the house," Perich said.
Matthews said four Duluth district state troopers received two weeks of special training from the California State Patrol last fall on how to look for smuggled drugs during traffic stops.
State troopers seized drugs in two separate stops on Tuesday:
A vehicle that was stopped in Pine County for defective tail lights resulted in the seizure of a half-pound of marijuana hidden behind a spare tire in the trunk.
A Carlton County driver was stopped for speeding. He was carrying a half-pound of meth in a pocket. The drug was hidden in a franchise restaurant sandwich bag that Matthews wryly said was imprinted with the words "freshly baked."


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