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Drug agents bust East Albany meth lab

Albany man arrested on methamphetamine charges

Agents of the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit sort through evidence from Thursday’s meth lab bust. (Special Photo)

Agents of the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit sort through evidence from Thursday’s meth lab bust. (Special Photo)

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Ben David Brooks (Special Photo)

ALBANY — Agents of the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit made an evening bust on an outdoor methamphetamine lab Thursday, police officials say.

Around 8:15 p.m. agents and vehicles closed in around a wooded area near the 2800 block of Rosebrier Avenue, said Maj. Bill Berry, commander of the ADDU. Berry described a setup akin to a “campground” in the woods, with sleeping bags and a primitive auto pathway leading to it. Methamphetamine was discovered on the site, but mostly just the “leftover residue” from past activity, Berry said.

“There’s no doubt methamphetamine had been cooking there,” Berry said, “But the site wasn’t active. It looked to be a small-scale operation making just enough for personal use, or just a little more.”

Agents collected evidence and arrested Ben David Brooks, 44, and charged him with manufacturing methamphetamine. Agents also confiscated his mother’s truck, which Brooks was thought to have using, Berry said.

According to Berry, even though Thursday’s bust was smaller than most, the lab presented distinct dangers to the surrounding population, including the danger of spontaneous explosion.

“It’s not so much what we think of as an explosion,” Berry said. “It’s more like a chemical release. But the ingredients to make the meth could hurt you, or you could be struck by the (hard) materials in the air.”

Berry said danger could also come from children or others “exploring” the woods if they came upon the lab and sniffed the open containers.

Dougherty County has experienced a huge increase in illegal meth production in recent years, Berry said, with about $150,000 in street value confiscated in June alone — more than all other illegal drugs combined.