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One involved in alleged portable meth lab operation admits to having drugs

Published 9:33am Friday, December 21, 2012

One of two men involved in an alleged portable meth lab operation changed one of his pleas to guilty Thursday in Mower County Court.

Daniel Keith Enfield, 19, of Austin, pleaded guilty to third-degree drug possession, a felony, as part of a plea agreement. A charge for first-degree meth manufacturing may be dismissed.

Matthew Koch, 20, the other allegedly involved, previously pleaded not guilty to those same charges.

According to the court complaint, Austin police received a tip that two men were skateboarding between Wildwood and Todd Park with a backpack that contained meth-making ingredients and supplies. An officer found the men near Mill Pond on Main Street, stopped them at the 500 block of North Main Street and searched their backpack at about 1 a.m. Oct. 24. The officer allegedly found drain cleaner, several coffee filters and tinfoil. More officers arrived, arrested both men and placed them in the Mower County jail.

The Southeast Minnesota Narcotics and Gang Task Force and lab technicians were contacted for cleanup. Two packets of tinfoil reportedly tested positive for meth. After an interview, Enfield told authorities the location of more meth-making ingredients in a wooded area between Hormel Food’s corporate offices and later pointed them to it. Officers also reportedly learned about a meth-making explosion in that area and that Koch may have received burns associated with the explosion. Officers took Koch to Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin where he was treated for chemical burns and taken back to the jail.

According to the complaint, an officer stopped Koch at night and searched his backpack, which contained rubber tubing, coffee filters, camp fuel, pseudoephedrine, acid, lye, lithium batteries and an instant cold pack, which are tools and ingredients for making meth. The complaint adds Koch had a small plastic bag, straw and .1 g of meth.

Koch also faces one charge for gross misdemeanor check forgery in Mower County Court.

Enfield will be sentenced on Feb. 7, 2013.


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