SANTA BARBARA — Los Padres National Forest construction crews alerted Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies last week when they discovered what appeared to be the remnants of an active methamphetamine laboratory.
Sheriff’s narcotics detectives responded to the Fremont Campground area off Paradise Road and discovered waste by-products indicative of a full-scale methamphetamine manufacturing facility.
Much of the evidence seized, according to sheriff’s spokesman Drew Sugars, “is highly dangerous hazardous waste and appeared to have been recently abandoned.”
The investigation revealed that the site had been in use as an illegal meth lab for several years and had only been abandoned within the past several months.
The U.S. Forest Service construction crew had been in the process of demolishing obsolete cabins in preparation for creating a new recreation area when they stumbled upon the dangerous materials. Detectives and removal crews donned personal protective gear in order to process and document the hazardous evidence from the area. Santa Barbara County Fire Department hazardous material crews were called in to perform removal and transport work.
Narcotics detectives are actively investigating the case.
“Anyone having any information about this site or any other meth labs should call us,” Sugars said in his media report, adding “this sort of thing puts the public in real danger.”
The public is requested to contact the Sheriff’s Anonymous tip Line at (805) 681-4171 with any information.