Second meth lab found in Waupaca
Police raided a mobile home and arrested two people suspected of operating a meth lab Wednesday, May 29.
This is the second meth lab police uncovered in Waupaca in less than a week.
A husband and wife now face multiple felony drug charges.
Courtland D. Fritz, 49, was charged with drug trafficking, manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine and three counts of using another person to purchase pseudoephedrine.
Lorranda A. Fritz, 44, was charged with the manufacture and possession of meth.
Police were first alerted about a possible meth lab on May 21 when Officer Nicole Hahn was called out to the trailer park at 600 Oak Street. While collecting trash from the trailer where the Fritz family lives, a neighbor and the sanitation worker noticed items they suspected were from a meth lab.
They showed police several bottles which had holes burned through them and tubes hanging out of the caps.
Investigators also found several empty packages of Claritan-D, an empty bottle of Drain Out, Coleman camp fuel, a butane lighter, a stripped AA lithium battery and scorched rubber gloves.
Mixed in with the suspected meth lab materials were letters addressed to Lorranda and Courtland Fritz, according to the criminal complaint.
Detective Sgt. Brian Hoelzel transported the materials to Manawa, where he met with Deputy Chad Repinski and Manawa Fire Chief Mark Levezow, who is also in charge of the Waupaca County Haz Mat team.
Wisconsin’s Division of Criminal Investigation was contacted, and Special Agent Steve Lewis confirmed the items were consistent with a one-pot meth lab.
Waupaca police then contacted pharmacies throughout the area, asking if members of the Fritz family had purchased any pseudoephedrine.
Psuedoephedrine is the active ingredient in over-the-counter sinus medication. Due to its use in the manufacture of meth, pharmacies must limit the amount of pseudoephedrine an individual may buy per month and keep a record of all purchases.
Investigators found the Fritz family had made well over a dozen purchases at five different area pharmacies from March through early May.
The day before police executed a search warrant at the Fritzes’ trailer, a local pharmacy reported Courtland Fritz had purchased 10 units of Claritan-D.
Courtland Fritz told investigators he had been smoking meth since December 2012, the complaint says.
Fritz said he and his wife were evicted from their trailer on Oak Street at the end of March and moved into his mother’s trailer in the same park.
He allegedly attempted to cook his first batch of meth in April in the trailer’s bathroom, but the smell was so bad he moved the operation outside to a shed.
When executing the search warrant, police reported finding more items associated with a meth lab in the shed.
The maximum penalty for the manufacture of methamphetamine is 12 years in prison.