Campbell officers injured in mobile meth lab bust - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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Campbell officers injured in mobile meth lab bust

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CAMPBELL, Ohio - Three police officers and a canine officer are recovering after inhaling chemicals from a mobile meth lab.
 
Canine officer Storm made a positive hit alerting officers to the meth lab in the trunk of a silver Cavalier during a traffic stop at 12th Street and Reed Avenue in the city.
 
Chief Drew Rauzan says, upon opening the trunk of the vehicle, one of the officers was knocked down physically by a small explosion from the chemical reaction going on in the trunk. They call the process being used a cold cook process to cook methamphetamine in a chemical reaction.
 
Rauzan tells us officers Dave Smith, Robert Curtis, and Eric Manning were rushed to the hospital and Storm must be examined by a veterinarian.

Campbell firefighters also responded to the scene.
 
Fire Chief Nicholas Hrelec says the chemicals can be very flammable and that breathing the chemicals can cause burns, and contact can cause burns.
 
He says the toxic mix can lead to large explosions so firefighters blocked off the area and called the Mahoning Hazardous Materials Team.  Members of HazMat made the hazardous and corrosive chemicals safe for evidence storage. They also decontaminated the officers and suspects.
 
Officer Ben Esposito tells us the chemicals used in meth labs are toxic and even potentially deadly. He tells us the chemicals can include Hydrochloric Acid, Draino, Sodium Hydroxide, Coleman Fuel, and other harmful components.
 
Esposito says crystal methamphetamine is as addictive as crack cocaine but takes a lot more toxic chemicals to make it.
 
Sgt. John Rusnak tells us police also found and seized up to 20 knives, ranging in size from 30 inches to pocket knives. They also confiscated over 100 hypodermic needles and several baggies of heroin.
 
Rusnak explains criminals use mobile meth labs to evade police because meth made at home causes neighbors to become suspicious of the smell and call police. He says in cars or mobile labs the smell dissipates.

Campbell police arrested Jean Ann Hartzell, 36, and Jeremy Bowker, 30. Both were decontaminated in the HazMat tent, which includes removal of contaminated clothing. They face multiple criminal charges including crimes related to having a meth lab, assault on peace officers, and drug charges.
 
All of the officers were treated and released. Storm will be monitored by a veterinarian.
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