SPRINGFIELD - Two people have been arrested after the discovery of a meth lab prompted the evacuation of nearby residents in Union County.
In a joint investigation between the Springfield Police Department and the Union County Prosecutor's Office, officers raided an apartment on Troy Drive Monday afternoon. Officials say that investigators found a makeshift methamphetamine laboratory in the apartment, along with various other illegal drugs.
Officers say they also detected a toxic odor, which prompted the evacuation of dozens of residents. The Springfield Fire Department and Union County's hazmat team were brought in.
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Once the area was deemed safe, officers say they found a wide variety of drugs, materials commonly used to make crystal meth, protective suits and a sophisticated video surveillance system. An airsoft gun and BB gun were also found, along with $13,000 in cash.
John Howell, 42, was charged with maintaining a narcotics production facility and possession of methamphetamine with the intent to sell, among other crimes. Elana Garman, 24, was arrested for outstanding warrants and turned over to the Bergen County sheriff.
Residents were allowed back inside their apartments a short time later.