AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – A possible underground meth lab was discovered in Amherst, New York Monday afternoon. Amherst Police and NYS Police investigated in the parking lot of a Walmart on Sheridan Drive.
They were assisted by the Buffalo Fire Department, the Eggertsville Hose Company and the Brighton Volunteer Fire Department.
As Walmart shoppers ran their errands, two first responders in full hazmat suits were lowered beneath the parking lot through a man hole.
“It’s a concern I mean it’s unbelievable in this area, this isn’t a bad area,” said Steve Harding, who lives about two miles from the store.
Harding was one of a number of people who watched the investigation unfold.
Amherst Police told News 4 that officers found the evidence in a culvert that runs below the parking lot. They said it’s tall enough to stand up in and it was not secured, so anyone could access it.
“We’ll talk to the proper authorities to figure out what we need to do to make sure that’s not accessible anymore,” said Captain Scott Chamberlin.
He said they did not receive any tips. The culvert was checked during a random preventative patrol.
“Routine patrol, that’s what we do every day,” said Captain Chamberlin.
We asked him if it’s routine to check underground.
He said, “We check in various areas that people who might be up to no good, might be using for no good.”
Members of the NYSP Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team passed buckets of evidence up from the manhole.
“Spray paint can, some various chemicals, a liquid we believe is methamphetamine,” said Captain Chamberlin.
Shoppers watched as the evidence was reviewed in the parking lot. Officials said there was no threat of air contamination or flammability.
The evidence was placed in white buckets for further tests by Amherst Police. They also plan to look at Walmart surveillance video for clues.
Captain Chamberlin said they don’t know yet how long this was going on, or who was doing it.
“This isn’t the kind of thing you’d expect in a place like this, that’s the bottom line,” said resident Steve Harding.
No arrests have been made yet.