Landlord says he'll bulldoze meth lab property

by Larry Lemmons
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - The extreme danger of a meth lab has become all to clear to folks in Randall county. Randall County authorities say they called for a private hazardous waste disposal company from Fort Worth to dispose of chemicals they found Monday.

Outside of those involved, the biggest effect the meth lab bust will have is on the landlord.

The property, 1904 Greg Street in Randall County, has been owned for years by Kory Sargent. In 2000 he rented it to the people arrested Monday for cooking meth in the house.  He said he was"shocked to say the least. I never expected something like that."

Cooking meth involves hazardous and corrosive chemicals that can physically injure those nearby. Furthermore, the effects of the fumes are not easy to remediate.  Mike Goodson of the Amarillo Fire Department Hazmat team says, "These things leach in the carpet, wood is porous, it goes in the wood, concrete is porous, it'll stay in the concrete, of course, ground and asphalt. If they do not take care of what they're using, which they're not, it's going to be an environmental hazard."

Randall County authorities say they'd been called to the property several times in the past for other reasons but only considered seizing the house Monday. Sargent says they contacted him Tuesday. "I didn't know about any criminal activity going on out there till yesterday, when I was contacted. That's the first I knew of it. I'm wondering why I wasn't contacted long before being the owner of the property. You know, if I'd known there was illegal activity of any sort going on I would have gotten them off the property immediately."

Now Sargent has an expensive problem on his hands.  He says, "I'm going to just bulldoze the property, get the house and everything off it and sell the land."

If he doesn't act in a timely manner, the county can demand he clean it up.