“Nobody knew about it:” Officials find evidence of meth-related lab in basement of West Allis home

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WEST ALLIS/MILWAUKEE -- FOX6 News is learning more about the investigation into a house near the Milwaukee-West Allis border (near 70th and Arthur), where officials said they found a meth lab in the basement on Wednesday December 21st. wa2

The homeowner said the situation is all a big misunderstanding, adding that there was never any illegal drug activity going on -- but neighbors said that's not the case based on what they witnessed Wednesday.

Neighbors said they were shocked Wednesday when they watched as law enforcement officials with the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Agency (HIDTA) spent 12 hours raiding the home.

"The hazmat team came over and they were bringing out chemicals left and right," a neighbor said.wa1

One person was taken into custody after investigators said they found evidence of a meth-related lab in the basement.

"It's scary that this is going on under our noses and nobody knew about it," a neighbor said.

The investigation is one of thousands of drug cases handled by the Wisconsin State Patrol each year.

"We're basically trying to locate and seize and arrest those that are bringing those substances into the state of Wisconsin," said Nathan Clarke with the Wisconsin State Patrol.

Drug lab found in basement of home in West Allis

While the Wisconsin State Patrol specializes in traffic enforcement, Lt. Clarke said troopers often come into contact with criminals on the highways. He said they play a key role in disrupting and dismantling drug operations.drug-raid

"It makes sense to try to interdict those bulk loads of narcotics before they come into the state, before they're broken down into smaller loads and distributed to consumers around the state," said Clarke.

In this particular case, Clarke said troopers were serving a search warrant at the house. They believed shipments of MDMA, commonly called Ecstasy or "Molly," were being delivered there.

"While we certainly weren't expecting to find a clandestine laboratory in the basement of that property, we're kind of glad that we did so that we could remove it for the neighboring residents there," said Clarke.wa3

State Patrol officials would not say who was arrested on Wednesday. The homeowner said neither he nor his girlfriend, who also lives at the house, were arrested.