Edmonson County Drug Bust

An anhydrous ammonia lab busted in Edmonson County may be the biggest lab ever discovered east of the Mississippi River.

The bust was a result of an investigation between several counties, including the Hardin County and the Barren County/Edmonson County Drug Task Forces and the Edmonson County Sheriffs Department.

The Barren County/Edmonson County Drug Task Force arrived at 812 Lakeshore Drive in Edmonson County around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2007.

A detective from the drug task force said there was a strong ammonia odor and enough evidence to get a search warrant.

After testing the chemicals found officials believe this lab was used to make anhydrous ammonia, an ingredient used in making methamphetamine.

WBKO's Sarah Goebel has more on why this lab bust is so different from many others.

"I discovered a lot of unusual things that i haven't normally seen in a methamphetamine lab," said on drug task force detective.

When officials started investigating they thought the lab was a standard methamphetamine lab. According to a detective from the drug task force, when cleaning up the scene he really didn't know what he was getting into.

"We had to go slow and really didn't know the chemical reaction of what we found until we tested all of it," said the detective.

That's when investigators realized they weren't dealing with just a meth lab.

"This may be the first anhydrous ammonia lab found in Kentucky."

According to Sheriff BJ Honeycutt anhydrous ammonia is basically fertilizer. Farmers use it in the spring to fertilize their crops. He says this chemical is hard to come by especially in the winter when the need for the product is lower, so meth users have to find alternative ways to get anhydrous ammonia.

"Instead of going out and stealing anhydrous ammonia or getting it from the farming supply store, they're actually manufacturing anhydrous ammonia, which in turn they're using in the process of manufacturing methamphetamine," Honeycutt said.

Once the chemical is made meth users can combine that with several other ingredients to make the drug, which according to officials is very dangerous.

"When they manufacture their anhydrous ammonia they go on with the process with their lithium and sudafed and all that and the end result will be methamphetamine."

Honeycutt also said the investigation is ongoing, but criminal charges will be sought. He also said they are unable to release the names of any suspects at this time.