TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — A Duncanville man was charged with trafficking methamphetamine Friday after agents with the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force came across the first homemade meth lab reported in Tuscaloosa County in the last three years.
According to law enforcement, investigators were informed that Jonathon Cooley, 37, was manufacturing meth at his home in the 15000 block of Cooley Town Road. WANTF agents who arrived on Cooley’s property Friday could immediately smell a chemical odor coming from a wooden building behind his home.
Inside the house, they discovered several jars and bottles containing more than 1,000 grams of meth oil, an unknown amount of finished meth, a jar containing a meth lab, several household items used in meth production and red phosphorous.
A makeshift home “Red-P” meth lab yields more finished product than the alternative “one pot” lab, uses more chemicals and is potentially more explosive. Red phosphorous has many uses and is commonly found on the strike plates of matchboxes.
“We had hoped this was a problem that we had seen the last of,” WANTF commander Capt. Phil Simpson said in a statement.
Most methamphetamine that agents have confiscated in recent years has been produced in labs and trafficked from Mexico.
Cooley was charged with first-degree manufacturing a controlled substance and trafficking meth. He is being held in the Tuscaloosa County Jail on $1 million bond.