Alleged meth lab carriers charged with felonies

Published 6:09 am Sunday, October 28, 2012

AUSTIN — Both men arrested for allegedly carrying a portable meth lab were charged Thursday in Mower County District Court.

Matthew Koch, 20, and Daniel Enfield, 19, both of Austin, were charged with first-degree drug manufacturing of methamphetamine and third-degree drug possession in a park.

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.

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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 allegedly told authorities the location of more meth-making ingredients in a wooded area between Hormel’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 that incident. Officers took Koch to Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin where he was treated for chemical burns and taken back to the jail.

Koch has also been charged with third-degree drug possession, possession of methamphetamine precursors with intent to manufacture and fifth-degree drug possession after being arrested on June 27. 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.

Both Koch and Enfield are scheduled for a court appearance on Nov. 8. They are held in Mower County jail on $100,000 bail.