By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Patrick Frazier, a master sergeant with the Illinois State Police and the commander of the West Central Illinois Task Force, surveyed the scene laid out in front of him on the lawn at 412 Spruce Monday afternoon.
Placed on a giant tarp were more than 500 "one-pot" shake-and-bake methamphetamine labs, an assortment of 2-liter, 1-liter and 20-ounce soda bottles. Nearby were 187 cans of starter fluid, one garbage bag filled with lithium battery casings and another filled with various types of salt. There were cans of drain cleaner and used boxes of pills containing pseudoephedrine, a key meth-making ingredient.
"It is the biggest (lab bust) I've seen as far as the shake-and-bake," Frazier said. "There is not a lot of finished product here, but that's a lot of materials. We don't normally seize that. We seize a lot of backpacks full of stuff or boxes. To find 500 bottles at once is a lot."
Field M. Wolf, 31, and Christina M. Rife, 34, each were charged with participation in methamphetamine manufacturing, a Class 1 felony punishable by between four and 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and a fine of up to $25,000. Wolf and Rife lived at the two-story brick house on the city's northwest side, Frazier said.
Adams County State's Attorney Jon Barnard said the bust still was significant.
"This might have been a world record of used meth labs at their house," Barnard said.
Members of the Adams County Sheriff's Department's Special Response Team served a search warrant around 9:30 a.m. Monday, Frazier said. Agents from the West Central Illinois Task Force and the Illinois State Meth Team handled the scene once the warrant was served. There was so much product found that a special truck had to be called from Troy, Ill., to handle the amount of meth waste.
"With this much material, we can't put this in our bunker," Frazier said. "Normally, we would have already loaded this up and had it out at the bunker in our buckets. It's more than that."
Adams County Sheriff Brent Fischer also called the bust the biggest he had personally seen.
"If this was a place that people were going to get meth, it's good to know that we can eliminate that," Fischer said. "It's good to know that we've disposed of this source."
Frazier said two guns also were seized by task force agents. He said the investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are possible.
The building was quarantined as huge red placards on the front and back doors warned people that it was not inhabitable.
Members of the Quincy Police Department and the City of Quincy Animal Control also responded to the scene.