TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Two locals found themselves the object of police attention last week when officers say they discovered a meth lab inside the couple's car.
On Wednesday, the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor's Office filed joint felony charges against 31-year-old Manuel A. Guzman, homeless, and 22-year-old Ashley M. Kallenberger of Lafayette.
According to court documents, just after 4 p.m. May 3, officers saw a car on Owen Street crossing Fourth Street in Lafayette.
An officer said he ran the plates on the vehicle and discovered it was registered to Manuel and Karlene Guzman. BMV records showed Manuel's driving privileges had been stripped and he was wanted on more than one warrant.
Officers saw the car stop in the 1300 block of South Third Street and made contact with the driver and passenger.
The driver, Guzman, was taken into custody for driving while suspended and on the warrants.
During a search of Guzman, officers found a pen tube with white residue and a pill bottle that contained pills which officers later identified as schedule-IV controlled substances.
The passenger, Kallenberger, said she was at a friend's house and that Guzman was dropping her off.
After an investigation of the vehicle, officers found a baggie of synthetic marijuana, metal canisters containing powdered methamphetamine and another pen tube with a white substance in it.
Officers said they also found a notebook with ingredients and instructions on how to make meth – it was found in Kallenberger's purse. Kallenberger told officers she had used meth for several years but claimed she had not used for the past 18 months.
She was also taken to jail, where officers found two pills in her wallet that were identified by poison control as Amitriptyline, which is a legend drug.
Officers noted a chemical odor and meth-related items in the car, so the Indiana State Police (ISP) Meth Suppression Unit was called in.
ISP troopers found items used to make meth, including Coleman fuel, cold packs (ammonium nitrate), lithium, sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide lye.
Troopers said they also found a bottle with a cloudy liquid inside, which was deemed a one-pot reaction vessel used to make meth.
Investigators said after all the evidence pointed to it, they determined the car had been used as a meth lab.
Officers said Guzman told them Kallenberger had taught him how to make meth, and that she had learned from an old boyfriend.
Guzman reportedly told officers they had left some nearby apartments after making meth and put the items found in the car. Officers say he admitted to making meth with her before and selling it.
Charges against the two are more severe because they were found with meth-related items within 1,000 feet of an apartment complex and within 1,000 feet of an elementary school.
They face six charges each: conspiracy to manufacture meth, a Class A felony; dealing in meth, a Class A felony; possession of meth, a Class B felony; illegal drug lab, a Class C felony; possession of a legend drug, a Class D felony; and possession of paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor.
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