Warwick, Rhode Island: A meth lab inside a guest room inside Motel 6 this week may signal a growing trend in the region. In 2010, DEA reported zero meth labs in the state of Rhode Island. But since that time, meth labs have appeared more than once in the Ocean State, raising serious concerns that meth labs may be taking a foothold in the region. If that proves true, like it’s done in other states, will the littlest state in the union be prepared to take on the very big problems that meth labs bring? Time will tell. In the meantime, news reports about meth labs in Rhode Island have continued to signal that meth labs may be here to stay.
Just this week, Warwick police discovered a meth lab inside a room at the Motel 6 located on Jefferson Boulevard. As a result of that discovery, two men were arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamines. A third man associated with the incident was also arrested for meth possession. Residents of the motel were asked to leave to insure their safety as Hazmat members and police made their way in to the room to remove evidence and neutralize the dangerous chemicals used to make the drug.
According to news reports, in addition to removing meth lab chemicals, police and Hazmat personnel also removed hypodermic needles. News reports have said that the room was decontaminated and Motel 6 is back in business. I hope that’s the end of the story, but based on other media reports involving the facility, criminal activity is likely to continue. This week’s meth lab bust at Motel 6 joins a growing list of problems that the motel has encountered, problems including a murder, a blindfolded kidnapping, some runaway thieves, drug deals, and now a meth lab.
After 8 years of watching meth lab trends in the U.S., I’m certainly not surprised that a meth lab was found in a motel. Motels have proven to be popular among meth cooks, who seek the privacy that motels provide to the guests of their facility. No one is likely to bother someone behind a closed motel room door. But, motels are far from being the only location favored by meth lab cooks. Abandoned houses work nicely for them, as well, as do sheds, garages, basements, private homes, and businesses.
Where have meth labs appeared in Rhode Island? Here’s a glimpse of some meth lab busts that have been in the news during the last few years:
Cranston, Rhode Island
In February 2015, Police arrested two men for operating a meth lab inside the Devan Manor apartment complex at 1214 Cranston St. According to court documents, evidence seized at the scene suggested that methamphetamine had been produced at least 11 times, in the apartment building that is mainly inhabited by elderly residents.
Warwick, Rhode Island
In January 16, 2014, Warwick police and the DEA teamed up to bust up a meth lab operation in Room 132 the Pineapple Inn in Newport, Rhode Island. The 51-year-old man who was renting the room had sold methamphetamine to undercover agents 4 times between Oct. 25 and Dec. 6, 2013, three times in a parking lot of a Warwick motel and once inside of a hotel room in North Smithfield. He was sentenced to 8 years is prison.
Providence, Rhode Island
In January 25, 2011, a former Brown University student was accused of having a meth lab in his rented home on Pine St.
In May 2011, two more men, a 62-year-old man from Providence and a 23-year-old man from Pawtucket, were arrested for possession of 100 grams of crystal meth and 2 grams of crack cocaine.