Traffic stop nets partial meth lab

Published 7:56 pm Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A routine traffic stop netted a partial meth lab Monday afternoon, leading to the arrest of a Florida man.

Gary Edward Edelstein, 45, of Westville, Fla., was pulled over by Luverne Police Officer Jason Blue for having an expired tag. Blue first spotted Edelstein on Hwy. 331 near the Luverne Post Office; Edelstein finally pulled over in the Rite Aid parking lot.

Officer Blue discovered that the suspect had a suspended driver’s license and arrested him. During the vehicle inventory search, officers found several items that are commonly used in the manufacturing of methamphetamines, including cooking pots, a lantern, hoses, a funnel, tubes, and coffee filters. Also found were meth oil as well as some small amounts of the finished product.

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“He (Edelstein) has had previous charges of manufacturing and possession of meth before in Florida,” Blue explained.

Assisting Officer Blue on the scene were Alabama ABC Agents Scotty Ballard and Geoffrey Owens, along with LPD Officer Mario Mendiola.

“When I asked him about his expired tag, he said he went to a junkyard and pulled a tag off of a vehicle and put it on his,” Blue said. “But he didn’t check to see if it was expired.”