By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
The discovery of a backpack containing items used in methamphetamine production earlier this week felt like déjà vu for city utility workers.
According to Steven Baker, superintendent of the London Utility Commission, Monday’s discovery on Boggs Road near Country Club Estates off Ky. 192, was the second such find within the past two months for employees who were out reading water meters.
“We found one in the same area a couple months ago, about 300 feet away from where the backpack was found on Monday,” Baker said.
That meth lab, although not as ‘intact’ as this week’s find, was also stored in a black backpack.
Although reading water meters is not usually considered a dangerous job, the “meth-idemic” that has plagued the county for the past several years is an issue that has been addressed with city workers.
City utility workers undergo regular safety meetings and are instructed to protect themselves and the customers above all else.
“We tell them if something looks suspicious, avoid any contact if possible and call the police,” Baker said. “Our first priority is the safety of the employees and the safety of the customers.”
“It’s not a routine thing, but we’ve found a lot of surprises over the years,” Baker added. “While most of our area is downtown London, there are spots where the meters are not visible and the workers have to go into the woods.”
This particular spot is at the edge of the city and county boundaries. Although the meth lab was found by city utility workers, the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office came to investigate the scene and neutralize the lab.
“Boggs Road and Country Club Estates is right where the city line stops,” Baker said. “City workers found the backpack with the meth lab in it, but it was on the county side.”
Anyone with information about the person or persons responsible for dumping the backpacks is urged to contact the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office at (606) 864-6600.