Massive Crystal Meth Lab Found in N.Y.


Federal and New York authorities said they "got lucky" when they found two men making crystal methamphetamine in a room at the Stone Helm Motel in Beekmantown.

One of the agents investigating the case, Drug Enforcement Administration Agent David Leu, told NewsChannel 5 that officials just happened to stumble across the alleged operation Wednesday.

"Today, we just got lucky -- right place, right time," Leu said. "Any meth lab in northern New York is significant, no matter the size it is."

Police said officers arrested Arthur Southwell and Bucky Boula, both of Plattsburgh. Police said crystal meth was still cooking inside the room, which police said could have caused serious damage, from fires to explosions.

"Meth labs are known to explode. They're very dangerous, and a building like this could go up in a heartbeat," Leu said.

Authorities said they were looking for someone else when police said they found the men making meth in the room's bathtub.

Arthur Southwell (left), Bucky Boula (right)

At least one motel customer was evacuated from the motel. Lonny Faveau, of Beekmantown, came to pick up his stepdaughter, who had been living at the motel.

"She had headaches when she first got here, but I don't know if that was caused by that or anything (else), and the thing of it is we come to find that out ... we could have been blown up just sitting there playing Yahtzee nearly next door," Faveau said.

Hazardous materials teams were at he scene due to the highly explosive and dangerous nature of chemicals used in making crystal meth. Investigators spent the day emptying the room, confiscating bags of money and other items.

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