Contractor looking for mold smells something more dangerous — and illegal, SC cops say

A contractor entered a South Carolina apartment to inspect for mold. When they walked into the bathroom, they were hit with a “strong ammonia smell” — and discovered a meth lab, police say.

A 24-year-old woman from Ladson was arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, according to Charleston County jail records.

Police found 261 grams of clear crystal meth in her possession, according to a report the North Charleston Police Department shared with McClatchy News.

The contractor contacted police about the possible discovery of a meth lab in the bathroom of the apartment on Sept. 13, according to a police report.

The contractor found a pan, a Pyrex dish and ammonia chemicals in and around the bathtub, police said in the report.

Some of the chemicals used to produce meth are highly volatile and can cause a fire or explosion, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center.

Officers entered the apartment to determine if the potential lab was a public safety risk, police said. When they arrived, they found the woman and her juvenile son in the apartment, according to the report.

The woman sat in the living room while officers investigated.

“When standing near the bathroom, and before entry, the overwhelming odor of chemicals could be smelled, causing discomfort to breathing and irritation to officers’ eyes,” police wrote in the report.

Narcotics detectives with the department said the substances in the bathroom tested positive for methamphetamine, and they arrested the 24-year-old.

Ladson is about 20 miles northwest of downtown Charleston.

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