Charges filed over alleged drug lab in New West that exploded in 2018

A man is facing criminal charges more than a year after an alleged drug lab blew up in New Westminster.

According to court documents, Michael Mcgrath was charged with three counts of unlawfully possessing chemicals or supplies to manufacture methamphetamine on Dec. 20, 2019. That’s more than 13 months after an incident in which emergency crews responded to an explosion at a New West apartment on Carnarvon Street.

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Crews responded to the explosion at 1 p.m. on Nov. 4, 2018 and found evidence of a drug lab, according to a news release from the time, which added that a man inside the apartment was arrested.

No one was injured in the explosion, and while the whole apartment building was evacuated, the fire was contained to the unit with the alleged drug lab.

“What happened here could have been a lot worse,” said Sgt. Jeff Scott at the time. “Many people could have been injured if that explosion was bigger or if fire had spread. We encourage residents to call us if they observe any drug activity or suspicious behaviour in their building.”

Police obtained a warrant to search the apartment, according to the news release, and now Mcgrath is facing charges.

According to the court documents, Mcgrath was found to be in possession of lye crystals, pseudoephedrine and muriatic acid, all chemicals used to produce methamphetamine.

Mcgrath has had a couple of initial court appearances and is expected back in court on Feb. 5 to fix a date for further hearings.

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