Police: Couple arrested after meth lab found in their car

Police: Couple arrested after meth lab found in their car

Authorities in southwestern Wisconsin have arrested two people accused of driving a truck that had a portable meth lab in the backseat, next to a 2-year-old girl.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Department said a deputy stopped a truck Saturday evening on East Oak Street because the driver and passenger weren’t wearing seat belts. The deputy noticed signs of drug use by the 30-year-old man who was driving, officials said.

Sheriff’s deputies discovered what was described as a “portable and active methamphetamine lab” in the backseat. They also found two loaded semi-automatic handguns.

Patrick Hogan, 30, and his wife, Deanna Hogan, 29, both of Boscobel, were arrested without incident. The child was released to another member of the family after being evaluated at the Boscobel hospital.

The area was blocked off after the traffic stop while authorities cleaned up the meth lab.

Authorities said mobile meth labs on the rise in southwestern Wisconsin.

“We’re dealing with it differently,” said Grant County Sheriff Keith Govier. “Where before a lot of the cook methods were more elaborate with different chemicals in different stages, now it’s this one pot method called ‘shake and bake.'”

Police: Couple arrested after meth lab found in their car

Tasha Wilkinson saw the truck pulled over nearly in front of her house and started snapping pictures. She said she didn’t know until after the fact about the alleged meth lab.

“I really wouldn’t advise people to attempt to do it, I can tell you that,” said Wilkinson. “I don’t think it’s best for the town and it’s not giving the town a good reputation.”

Authorities said this is the second bust that has netted a mobile meth lab in just three weeks. In late April, the Grant County Sheriff’s Department said it arrested three others and found 13 shake and bake bottles. Sheriff’s officials said it’s a sudden resurgence of meth after the problem virtually disappeared.

“What really put a stop to the way we were dealing with it 10 and 12 years ago were the laws put into effect where now you have to go to a pharmacist to actually get (some ingredients used to make meth),” Govier said. “Now they’re getting one packet at a time and trying to get whatever meth they can off that one pack.”

Authorities said the “shake and bake” process, which is done simply with a soda bottle, is incredibly dangerous and can cause explosions or burns.

“They don’t expect it to happen to them and one day it could,” said Grant County Chief Deputy Jack Johson, who is on the Richland-Iowa-Grant County Narcotics Task Force.

Wilkinson knows about the problem, but said she’s not sure what authorities can do.

“It ended up coming to Boscobel because everywhere else it got chased out of,” said Wilkinson. “Boscobel seems to be the target town now for police and everybody doing it.”

Johnson said the problem has been ramping up over the last year or so and because they had been focusing more on marijuana or cocaine. Johnson said they’re doing some education for their officers about signs of meth. He said authorities also want to educate the community so they notify authorities if they see signs of meth use in their area.