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AUSTIN EDITION -- Meth labs discovered in Rochester

By Jeffrey Pieters

jpieters@postbulletin.com

Rochester police seized methamphetamine and meth-making equipment at two sites in the city Thursday.

Nine people were arrested in connection with the meth labs.

Police discovered the first lab, at 857 Ninth Ave. S.E., when they were investigating a burglary that had occurred a few blocks away.

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A county sheriff's dog helped police track the burglar to the home on Ninth Avenue. There, police found power tools that had been stolen. But they also found more.

Police found a meth lab in the garage and, in a truck parked nearby, "all the makings of a meth lab, all the equipment you need to make it," said Police Capt. Jim Pittenger.

Police arrested seven people, including the 42-year-old woman who owns the house, her 21-year-old daughter, and two men renting rooms at the house -- one 19 years old and the other 32. The 19-year-old is suspected of committing the burglary.

Three visiting friends also were arrested. They include a 25-year-old rural Olmsted County man, a 31-year-old Dodge Center man and a 24-year-old Rochester man. The 24-year-old owns the truck, police said.

All seven are expected to be charged with meth-related crimes, Pittenger said.

In a separate incident, police were led to a second meth lab Wednesday by another seemingly unrelated crime.

Police responded to Super Target, where a 16-year-old Shakopee, Minn., boy was being held for allegedly stealing 10 boxes of Sudafed.

The boy told police he and other boys had been instructed to steal Sudafed to be used to manufacture meth, police said.

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The boy led police to a house at 4858 Opal Lane N.W., where officers found equipment and materials for making meth, as well as a white powder that police say is meth.

Police arrested two men, ages 36 and 22, both residents of the Opal Lane house. They are expected to face meth-related charges, but have not yet been charged.

All nine of the suspects are in jail.

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