A man told police he took a college chemistry class and “knows what he is doing” in an alleged home methamphetamine lab that was discovered over the weekend.
The Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force booked Ricky Klyn Haws, 40, into the Weber County Jail on Saturday on suspicion of first-degree felony operation of a clandestine laboratory and class A misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
Haws’ roommate called police after he found methamphetamine cooking in the home’s oven. They live in the 500 block of 29th Street.
The roommate said he went to cook something at about 9 p.m. Friday when he found a pan containing liquid cooking in the oven.
“Don’t take that out; I’m cooking meth. Don’t call the cops,” the roommate said Haws told him.
On Saturday morning, the roommate said he awoke to a chemical smell in the home and the oven beeping. He found a pie platter containing a milky white substance in the oven, then went outside and called police.
An arrest affidavit said an officer looked into a bedroom and saw beakers, glassware, pipettes, funnels and methamphetamine pipes.
Haws came out of the room and shut the door behind him. An Ogden officer with experience on the narcotics strike force said he told Haws it looked like he had a methamphetamine lab, and Haws said he was “distilling alcohol.”
Haws refused to allow police into the room but relented after they said they would return with a warrant, the arrest affidavit said.
The Ogden officer said he found a notebook with chemical formulas written in it, and he called in the strike force to investigate.
Strike force agents arrived with a search warrant for the home and inventoried items in the bedroom, which also included several containers of chemicals, the affidavit said.
Haws told agents he was not cooking methamphetamine but rather was experimenting with chemistry and that he was trying to make his own alcohol.
After agents said the equipment he had was not for making alcohol, Haws allegedly said he was trying to remove “iodine” from the methamphetamine he smokes to make it better.
Haws said he took a chemistry course at Utah Valley University “and knows what he is doing.”
He told police he had been experimenting for about a week.
Lt. Brian Eynon, spokesperson for the Ogden Police Department, said Monday that home-based clandestine laboratory arrests are relatively uncommon in the Ogden area.
“Running into them on a patrol call, it’s few and far between, the ma-and-pa type things,” Eynon said.
State court records show Haws had five felony or misdemeanor drug-related convictions in Salt Lake County, Provo, Cedar City and St. George, four of them in the past five years. At the time of his arrest, he was on felony probation in Provo, the Ogden arrest affidavit said.