HODGDON, Maine (NEWS CENTER)—Early Tuesday morning the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency executed their seventh meth lab bust so far this year. This is the second time this week MDEA agents complete a raid. Tuesday agents entered a home in Hodgdon. Marcus Toner, 24, charged with class B trafficking. Nearly a dozen agents showed up at the home on Hodgdon Mills Road. MDEA Commander Peter Arno told us this raid occurred after several weeks of investigating and tips that Toner was manufacturing the drug.
Arno said, "Our initial search into this house, we found a significant amount of precursor chemicals and materials needed to manufacture methamphetamines."
Toner along with a seventeen year old female were home at the time of the raid. The teenager was released into the custody of her mother and at this time no charges have been filed against her. Toner, however, was questioned by agents before being taken to Aroostook County jail.
The process of taking down a lab is becoming a more common occurrence for investigators, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Maine State Police.
"If we stay on track we will be roughly double what we were last year. So we are on track for 30 meth labs for this year," explained Arno.
Maria Pease the Maine State Chemist on scene said this was a smaller lab than agents usually see, but it still poses danger.
Pease said, "These chemicals aren't properly stored, they will have incompatible chemicals stored together. Or chemicals improperly stored in the wrong container. Chemicals that aren't labeled."
Arno, however, confirmed at the time of the raid it was not an active lab meaning the meth was not being cooked at the time.
"Every case we asset the risk in a case by case basis. We obviously don't want to expose our agents and some of the other officers here to some of the risk. the fact of the matter is it is an inherently dangerous situation," said Arno.
The MDEA always has an onsite chemist to handle the evidence and members of the DEP to discard of the items found. In the case of an agent being exposed to any of the harsh chemicals, Arno said there are mobile showers on site.
"The chemicals we encounter here they might be the same chemicals we see in the laboratory, but because of the environment they are more dangerous," explained Pease.
No one was hurt during Tuesday's raid.
The investigation is still ongoing. The MDEA expects to make more arrests as they look deeper into the operation.