Police and firefighters responding to a truck fire in Tulsa quickly determined that the fire was not the result of a vehicle malfunction, but rather a one-pot meth lab fire.
When first responders arrived at the scene of the fire, they found both the driver-side and passenger-side doors standing open, and flames coming from a one-pot meth lab in passenger seat. Witnesses said that two men had run from the scene of the fire. They told police the direction the men had run, and law enforcement began to patrol the area.
They identified one suspect at a local convenience store. The man gave a brief chase, but was quickly apprehended. Michael Detmer, 29, was arrested for manufacturing methamphetamine and resisting arrest.
Police have identified his accomplice, who is believed to have suffered burns to his upper thigh, groin, or stomach as a result of the meth lab fire. However, as of this writing, he has not been taken into custody.
Detmer's prior criminal history includes domestic assault and battery charges, obtaining drugs through forged prescriptions, public intoxication, public indecency, and embezzlement.
For his felony charges--forged prescriptions in 2007 and embezzlement in 2008--he was given 3-year and 5-year suspended sentences, which were to run concurrently.
The charge for manufacturing meth, however, is likely to be much more serious. Under Oklahoma's tough drug laws, a first offense of manufacturing a controlled substance is a felony punishable by 7 years to life in prison and a $50,000 fine. A second offense doubles the minimum sentence to 14 years to life; a third or subsequent offense has the defendant facing 21 years to life in prison.
Additionally, a person convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine will be subject to the Oklahoma Methamphetamine Offenders Registry, which will prevent him or her from legally obtaining or possessing certain cold medications that are used in meth manufacture.
Finally, it is important to note the dangers associated with the manufacture of meth. Meth labs are highly caustic and volatile. If a person is killed in a meth lab explosion, any survivors associated with the meth manufacture may be charged with first degree murder, even if the death is purely accidental, and even if the person killed was an active and willing participant in the meth lab. The punishment for first degree murder under Oklahoma law is life in prison or life without parole.
Learn more about Oklahoma drug manufacturing laws here, or call (405) 418-8888 for a free consultation with an Oklahoma drug defense lawyer.
Image credit: DEA.gov