PALM CITY — Four people were arrested in a joint federal-local crackdown on a methamphetamine lab on Thursday morning at a home in the 4400 block of Southwest Ranchwood Road.
Members of the Martin County Sheriff's Office and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency served a search warrant on the house at about 10:30 a.m. and found the front door wide open. They entered wearing gear to protect themselves from potentially dangerous chemicals.
Inside, officers apprehended four people and found some methamphetamine and materials associated with making the drug, including sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid, Coleman fuel, filter papers, a digital scale and a silver spoon, as well as other materials, according to an arrest affidavit.
Some marijuana, a pipe for smoking marijuana and pills also were found.
Arrested on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine were two residents of the house: Thomas Cornman, 52, and Michael Minor. Also, Eric Ballard, 20, of 4200 block of Southwest 83rd Street, Palm City, was charged with manufacturing of methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance.
Carrie Krupa, 23, of the 1800 block of College Street, Stuart, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to investigators, Cornman, Minor and Ballard made statements implicating themselves in the making or possessing of methamphetamine.
Officers quoted Cornman as saying he sometimes helped Minor "cook" methamphetamine and purchased packs of pseudo-ephedrine tables that are a main ingredient for making methamphetamine.
According to arrest affidavits, Minor said he buys peudo-ephedrine tablets and helped in production but was not the "cook." He said other people who live elsewhere come in to "cook" and then leave, leaving behind some of the drug for the residents to use or sell. Minor, according to the arrest affidavits, said he sells methamphetamine for $80 to $100 a gram.
Krupa said she was never present during manufacturing and never bought pseudo-ephedrine. She described herself as an intravenous drug user. Investigators said they found a syringe in a purse.
A fifth person found in the home said she is a neighbor and not involved in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.
All four of the arrested people were taken to the Martin County Jail.