SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office is continuing an investigation regarding what may have been the largest ever meth lab bust locally.
Deputies, working with agents with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, descended on a house in the 5400 block of Lake Grove Thursday night.
Sheriff Javier Salazar says they found evidence of a large meth lab inside, including ten buckets of raw liquid heroin and large vats and gas-propelled burners that he believes were used for cooking methamphetamines.
“By all estimations, those chemicals had the capability of blowing the roof right off of the house, had things gone badly, and probably several of the houses surrounding it,” Salazar said.
In addition, he says, they also found 78 kilos of the finished product, worth nearly $4 million, as well as about $400,000 worth of heroin.
Salazar said the bust was the result of an ongoing investigation.
He said the crackdown came on the heels of a traffic stop in which deputies arrested Jose Armando Villasana Hernandez, 39.
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Inside his car, deputies found about 10 kilos of meth, Salazar said.
Hernandez also had two children with him at the time. They were turned over to protective custody, he said.
“If there is a silver lining to this, it’s we were able to get those kids out that dangerous situation,” Salazar said.
The potential danger didn’t escape neighbors, although several of them said that whatever was going on inside the home did go unnoticed.
“No real suspicions, but just question marks,” said Peggy Gonzales, who lives down the street. “In fact, I hardly ever see any cars. It’s probably 'cause I’m in bed, you know, when they frequent the house.”
By Friday morning, though, everything had come to light.
Investigators spread out all of the chemicals and suspected drug-cooking equipment on the front lawn of the home.
Gonzales was glad to see a crew, suited up in protective suits, cleaning up the mess.
“The bottom line is that the hand of God protected us, obviously, from any explosion,” she said, thankfully.
The case, though, is far from closed.
Salazar is encouraging anyone who has any additional information to come forward and call the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office at (210) 335-6070.
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