County narcotics detectives are conducting an investigation after discovering a drug disposal site near the Fremont Campground Area in Los Padres National Forest last week.
Construction workers reported the methamphetamine by-product dumpsite to authorities last Thursday. A member of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department’s Hazmat division arrived at the location and transported the waste to a disposal facility.
According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Drew Sugars, detectives suspect the site was also the location of an illegal drug lab.
“There was evidence that [meth] was also manufactured there,” Sugars said. “Based on our narcotics detectives’ experience, they are saying it is less than a year ago that someone was using [the area for production].”
Sugars said the investigation revealed chemical by-products from several pounds of meth, and the highly toxic material would have posed an environmental and health risk if it spread into the ground or local water sources.
“The real danger there is that on a good rain that is going to wash right into the water shed and down into the soil or wherever else it can drain into,” Sugars said. “It is a very toxic chemical waste.”
Detectives are still looking for information linking the facility to any potential suspects and want anyone with information on the dump to contact the sheriff’s department.