Meth labs are very rare in DC. According to data from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, there was just one meth lab incident in the District between 2004 and 2010. NBC 4, however, reported that scales and large quantities of methamphetamine and cash were found in a condo in the 900 block of S Street NW back in November.
Police continue to investigate that case, and it is not clear whether the condo was being used for producing meth or only for distributing it. As an MPD brochure on methamphetamine abuse notes, meth used in DC is more commonly produced in labs in the Midwest and Mexico.
In addition, a fire in a fourth floor apartment at 1630 R Street NW on January 31 has raised questions about whether meth labs in DC might be more common than originally thought, possibly in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area.
According to Wikipedia: “Methamphetamine increases alertness, concentration, energy, and in high doses, can induce euphoria, enhanced self-esteem and increased libido. Methamphetamine has high potential for abuse and addiction, activating the psychological reward system by triggering a cascading release of dopamine in the brain.”
The fire last week on R Street may have been caused by materials used for manufacturing methamphetamine, an illegal drug more commonly known as meth or crystal meth, according to DC Police. DC Fire and EMS Department and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) responded to the fire at about 11:30 pm Tuesday night, January 31. The were no injuries and while residents of the upscale rental building had to temporarily evacuate, sources say everyone was back in their units by the next day.
According to reports from WUSA 9 and the DC Sun, the investigation into the fire’s cause led to the discovery of suspicious chemicals that suggest a meth lab may have been run out of the apartment. A hazmat crew was called to the scene to deal with the potentially hazardous materials.
In the Capital reports that Borger Management Company (which manages the 1630 R Street NW building) held a town hall-style meeting with building residents earlier this week and agreed to hire a meth lab clean-up company to complete further testing for potential hazardous chemicals.
MPD has not released an official statement about the case or made any announcements regarding arrests. In the Capital has posted the incident report from the case, which notes that investigation after the fire “revealed that the apartment was a working meth lab.”
Media Coverage on DC Meth Labs
The recent incident on R Street has certainly helped generate a great deal of media coverage:
- Dupont Meth Lab Police Reports (In the Capital)
- Experts Called in to Address Dupont Meth Lab Fire Aftermath (DC Sun)
- New Developments for Dupont’s Meth Lab (In the Capital)
- Crystal Meth Lab Found in Dupont Circle (NBC 4)
- Crystal Meth Lab Found in Dupont Condo (Huffington Post)
- Meth Lab’s Neighbors in Dupont Should Watch Out (In the Capital)
- Meth Lab Explosion Rocks Luxury Dupont Apartment. Yeah You Read That Right (In the Capital)
- Holy Cow, Meth Lab Fire in Dupont Tues. Night? (Prince of Petworth)
- Dupont Drug Explosion: Luxury Apartment Evacuated (WNEW)
- Dupont Apartment Building Catches Fire Due to Meth Lab Fire (DC Sun)
- Suspected Meth Lab Found Inside Northwest DC Apartment (WUSA 9)