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Police seize suspected meth lab van, arrest 1

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A Brown County man was arrested after police discovered a suspected methamphetamine lab in his van.

Eric Packman, 40, of 5155 State Road 46 West, Nashville, is charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, a Class B felony.

After Packman’s vehicle broke down in the area of U.S. 31 and Lowell Road early Sunday morning, a Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department deputy pulled over for the purpose of assisting a disabled motorist, said Maj. Todd Noblitt, spokesman for the Sheriff’s department.

But after talking to the driver, Sgt. Brandon Slate discovered that a body attachment had been issued for Packman.

Most often used in matters of delinquent child support, a body attachment allows an officer to take a suspect in non-criminal cases into custody, Noblitt said.

Noblitt said there also were enough indicators of manufacturing methamphetamine to summon narcotics officers to the scene. In addition, a search warrant was written and signed by Bartholomew County Superior Court 2 Judge Kitty Coriden.

Inside the van, officers found what is referred to as a “shake and bake” or “one pot” meth lab.

This process uses one sealed container, which is generally flipped upside-down to cause the reaction needed to turn several toxic ingredients into the illegal street drug.

However, the chemical reaction causes an extremely high amount of pressure to build up within the container after being shaken, Noblitt said. He added this method is seldom used in Bartholomew County because it is so extremely volatile and explosive.

Noblitt described the meth lab as “a mobile bomb.”

“If you think about how easily this vehicle might have been involved in an accident, we could have had a very bad situation,” Noblitt said.

He added the one-pot method also has been largely discontinued because it does not produce as much meth as other methods.

Experts from both the Sheriff’s Department and the Indiana State Police were summoned to dismantle the drug lab.

Packman is being held at the Bartholomew County jail in lieu of $76,000 bond.

If convicted, he could face a prison sentence of six to 20 years in prison, as well as a maximum $10,000 fine.

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