Drug Policy

Another Isolated Incident

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Fish tank, meth lab—whatever.

Brooklyn Park police were looking for a meth lab, but they found a fish tank and the chemicals needed to maintain it.

And a few hours later, when the city sent a contractor to fix the door the police had smashed open Monday afternoon, it was obvious the city was trying to fix a mistake.

It happened while Kathy Adams was sleeping.

"And the next thing I know, a police officer is trying to get me out bed," she said.

And what thorough investigative work precipitated this raid?

Roehl said the drug task force was acting on a tip from a subcontractor for CenterPoint Energy, who had been in the home Friday to install a hot water heater.

"He got hit with a chemical smell that he said made him light headed, feel kind of nauseous," Roehl said.

The smell was vinegar, and maybe pickling lime, which were clearly marked in a bathroom Mr. Adams uses to mix chemicals for his salt water fish tank.

"I said, 'I call it his laboratory for his fish tanks,' " Mrs. Adams said, recalling her conversation with the CenterPoint technician. "I'm looking at the fish tank talking to this guy."

Police say there was no extended investigation, just an interview with the subcontractor.

Still, no one did anything wrong.

"From a cursory view, it doesn't look like our officers did anything wrong," said Capt. Greg Roehl.

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"Everything this person told us turned out to be true, with the exception of what the purpose of the lab was," Roehl said.

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Police say the detective who asked for the search warrant is an 8 ½-year veteran, but he just started working in the drug task force.

CenterPoint energy maintains the home was "unsafe" and it would have "irresponsible" for the subcontractor not to report it.