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Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies stumble across methamphetamine lab and sleeping suspect

Posted on Feb 3, 2010 in Drugs, Local Issues

By Michelle Hunter, The Times-Picayune February 02, 2010, 6:15PM Authorities looking to arrest a suspect wanted for auto theft stumbled across a methamphetamine lab operating out of a Metairie apartment Saturday afternoon. Keith Miller.jpgJPSOKeith MillerJefferson Parish Sheriff's Office deputies evacuated the other apartments connected to Unit C at 1208 Clearview Parkway after they found lab bottles, fertilizer and the other chemicals associated with the production of methamphetamine. They also found their suspect, Keith Miller, 27, of Metairie, fast asleep on the couch, the arrest report said. Miller was wanted by authorities for stealing his grandmother's Chevrolet Impala on Jan. 27, according to arrest and incident reports. Deputy Anna House received a tip that Miller and the vehicle would be at a Clearview Parkway apartment, and House called for back-up when she spotted the car in a driveway about noon, the incident report said. After knocking on the door a few times, an unidentified woman exited the apartment and told deputies Miller was inside asleep, but slumbering next to two loaded guns. Deputies crept inside and confiscated the guns before waking Miller. That's when deputies noticed the lab set-up and called in narcotics officers, the incident report said. Methamphetamine, also known as "poor man's cocaine" is a highly addictive stimulant that can be injected, swallowed, snorted or smoked. Meth labs are usually found in rural areas because of the noxious fumes created during production. The labs are also dangerous because the fumes can spark fires or explosions. A search of the room turned up 1.6 grams of methamphetamine, and .5 grams of marijuana, in addition to Miller's grandmother's stolen credit cards and checks. Miller did not live at the Clearview Parkway address. Authorities did speak to the person who rents the residence and he admitted knowing that Miller was cooking meth in the apartment, an arrest report said. The renter has not been arrested but the matter is still under investigation, according to Sgt. Larry Dyess, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office. Miller was taken to the Sheriff's Office investigations bureau at 725 Maple St. in Harvey for processing and questioning. But during a moment without restraints, he escaped and fled the building, according to an arrest report. Deputies recaptured him around 6:22 p.m. in the parking lot of Marshalls clothing store, 1500 West Bank Expressway, Harvey. Miller, of 4741 Hastings St., Metairie, was booked with creation of a clandestine lab, simple and aggravated escape, resisting police by violence, simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling, possession of stolen property less than $300, two counts of illegally carrying a weapon, auto theft, possession of stolen property greater than $500, drug possession with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, two counts of possession of stolen things, use of a firearm in connection with drug activity and possession of drug paraphernalia. Miller was being held Tuesday at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna in lieu of $627,500 bond for the most recent charges Michelle Hunter can be reached at mhunter@timespicayune.com or 504.883.7054.

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