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Large meth lab busted in Stevinson

STEVINSON — A meth lab capable of producing $4 million of finished product was uncovered by agents from several law enforcement agencies Wednesday — the latest in a series of meth busts in Merced County this month.

The agents, who included teams from Stanislaus and Fresno Counties and Merced County Sheriff’s deputies, served a search warrant around 3:45 p.m. at a house on the 2900 block of Cemetery Road in Stevinson.

The operation led to six arrests and the confiscation of 200 pounds of unfinished product, or “meth in solution.” Meth in solution is the final stage before the drug is chemically transformed into crystallized form (meth generally has a street value of $20,000 a pound), according to Tom MacKenzie, Merced County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson.

Inside the home agents also found a quarter-pound of finished meth, in addition to an abundance of manufacturing flasks, equipment and two handguns, MacKenzie said.

When agents arrived, four of the suspects tried to flee on foot, but were apprehended by investigators with the help of sheriff’s canine units and a Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department helicopter, MacKenzie said. One of the suspects tried to toss away a .357 Magnum handgun while he was running. Two of the other suspects were arrested during a vehicle stop before the warrant was served.

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