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Meth lab found in local hotel room.

Keen observations by two Thatcher,Arizona Police officers Saturday led to the discovery of a mobile crystal methamphetamine lab set up in a room at the Quality Inn and Suites in Safford,Arizona.

Officers Josh McClain and Steven Carter were taking part in an Eastern Arizona DUI Task Force deployment when they noticed a 1997 red Ford F150 with a large crack in the windshield heading east on Highway 70.



The officers pulled over the truck near the intersection of Highway 70 and Fifth Street in Safford,Arizona and discovered an open bottle of beer.

The police then ordered the driver, Kyle Barnhill, 44, and his passenger, Gayla Barnhill, 35, out of the truck. A search of the vehicle was conducted, and officers located chemicals consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine.

According to Thatcher,Arizona Police Chief Mark Stevens, once the chemicals were found, the officers immediately notified the Graham County,Arizona Sheriff‚''s Office, Safford,Arizona Police and the Department of Public Safety.

‚''The harmful nature of these chemicals for contamination is why we alerted the other agencies,‚'' Stevens said.

Officers quickly learned the suspects were staying at the Quality Inn, and a search warrant was issued.

A chemist and a HazMat crew from the DPS processed the scene.

According to Quality Inn general manager Tammy Mayhew, the suspects hadn‚''t compiled all of the chemicals necessary to cook meth in the room.

While the DPS did not order the hotel to test the room for contamination, it strongly recommended it.

Mayhew said her company has contracted an environmental cleaning company, Bio-Pro out of Phoenix,Arizona to test the room and, if necessary, clean it to Arizona Department of Environmental Quality standards.

She said it will take between four days to two weeks for the testing to be complete. In the meantime, the room has been closed.

Mayhew said she was pleased with the police‚''s handling of the situation.

‚''I‚''m glad they caught it before it got out on the streets and to our kids,‚'' she said.

Chief Stevens had nothing but praise for the task force and other agencies that assisted.

Kyle and Gayla Barnhill were arrested for possession of equipment or chemicals to manufacture a dangerous drug and possession of drug paraphernalia. They were booked into the county jail. Further charges are pending analysis of evidence.
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  • Codeine is the most widely used, naturally occurring narcotic in medical treatment in the world.