2 arrested after fire breaks out at site of Salt Lake City clandestine laboratory

File photo: Gephardt Daily

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 24, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A man and a woman have been arrested after a fire broke out at the site of a clandestine laboratory in Salt Lake City.

A probable cause statement from the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake City said Ryan Joseph Cahouet, 25, and Brianna Westre, 21 were taken into custody.

Cahouet and Westre are facing charges of:

  • Operation of a clandestine laboratory, a first-degree felony
  • Controlled substance schedule I or II, a second-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance, marijuana/spice, a class B misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor

The probable cause statements for both say 911 was called for a fire in an apartment after a refrigerator exploded and caught fire early Saturday evening.

“Once the fire department arrived, they checked the apartment and upon making sure the fire was out the fire department recognized that this apartment was a possible clandestine lab,” the statement said.

Clandestine laboratories are sites where illegal drugs, particularly methamphetamine, are manufactured using improvised materials and methods, according to Wikipedia. The starting materials and resulting drugs and waste can be harmful to human health.

The fire department contacted Salt Lake City Police Department, which responded; a warrant was written and approved to search the apartment, and during the search of the apartment it “was found to be a working and operational clandestine laboratory,” the statement said.

“Chemicals and other items were located to make illegal drugs, during the search drug paraphernalia was located,” the statement said. “During the search as well packaged marijuana was located in the apartment. MDMA was also located in the apartment.”

Both Cahouet and Westre were transported to Salt Lake County Jail, where they are being held without bail.


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