Clinic donation box contains cash laced with meth

Columbus firefighters determined a light, powdery substance found on donated money in a cash donation box at Volunteers in Medicine was methamphetamine.

The department’s hazardous materials truck was sent to the facility at 940 N. Marr Road at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday when volunteers emptying the donation box saw the powder on cash that had been donated, said Capt. Mike Wilson, Columbus Fire Department spokesman.

Columbus police officers also were sent to the incident.

Firefighters wearing hazardous material suits collected a sample of the powder and determined it was methamphetamine by testing it at the scene, Wilson said. The methamphetamine was found folded inside a $1 bill and was visible on cash in the box, he said.

Wilson said it was a small amount of the drug, but it alarmed the three staff members who were logging in the money from the donation box when they found the substance.

The methamphetamine was confiscated by the police department and the money cleaned before being returned to the three staff members, Wilson said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.