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NTF busts meth lab at west El Centro home, 21-year-old jailed for probation violations

May 15, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

The Imperial County Narcotic Task Force planned to seek charges today against an El Centro-area man after authorities broke up what they deemed a drug lab at the man's home.

William Zane Hicks, 21, turned himself over to the county Sheriff's Office on Saturday. He was booked into county jail for a violation of probation.

Sheriff's deputies were investigating a 911 call from Hicks' home in the 1900 block of Johnson Lane west of El Centro about 5 p.m. Friday and observed fumes coming out of a 5-gallon container inside a shed behind the residence.

NTF officials were called to the scene and found chemicals and apparatus consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine.

The discovery led authorities to evacuate neighbors until the fumes could be contained by the county hazardous materials response team.

The California Department of Emergency Services dispatched a hazardous waste disposal company that disposed of the drug lab waste.

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NTF agents discovered evidence that led them to allege one of the residents, Hicks, was responsible for the drug lab. They called the county Probation Department to place a probation hold on Hicks.

According to a press release from NTF, agents plan to seek charges that Hicks was involved in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

Information on who made the 911 call from Hicks' home was unavailable.

Hicks remained in the county jail this morning without bail for the alleged probation violation.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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