Teen with home chemistry lab mistakenly arrested for meth production

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http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/12/teen_with_home_chemistry_lab_mistak.html [Broken]

A Canadian college student majoring in chemistry built himself a home lab - and discovered that trying to do science in your own home quickly leads to accusations of drug-making and terrorism.

Lewis Casey, an 18-year-old in Saskatchewan, had built a small chemistry lab in his family's garage near the university where he studies. Then two weeks ago, police arrived at his home with a search warrant and based on a quick survey of his lab determined that it was a meth lab. They pulled Casey out of the shower to interrogate him, and then arrested him.

A few days later, police admitted that Casey's chemistry lab wasn't a meth lab - but they kept him in jail, claiming that he had some of the materials necessary to produce explosives. Friends and neighbors wrote dozens of letters to the court, testifying that Casey was innocent and merely a student who is really enthusiastic about chemistry.
This is insane. Cops need to get the hell of their high horse. There was no investigation, no looking for evidence before an arrest. How did they get the search warrant? Do judges really believe that anyone who has basic science equipment needs to be checked out first? What did they find on their quick survey that led them to believe that this kid was making meth. I'm sure he didn't have a case of ephedrine or any finished meth nearby.
And the war on science and intellectualism continues.
 
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mgb_phys

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This is why Texas bans the sale of any chemical glassware without a license.
You can't be too carefull, imagine what the country could be like if kids got interested in science.

claiming that he had some of the materials necessary to produce explosives.
I posses the main precursor to gunpowder in me right now - I'm just going to the loo to dispose of it.
 

Vanadium 50

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It's Canada, and the search warrant law is somewhat different there. In the US, if they have cause to search your house for stolen jewelry and find evidence of bookmaking, it is in general not admissible. In Canada, it is.
 
This is why Texas bans the sale of any chemical glassware without a license.
You can't be too carefull, imagine what the country could be like if kids got interested in science.


I posses the main precursor to gunpowder in me right now - I'm just going to the loo to dispose of it.
lol, if most people had any idea the sort of things scientists and engineers are really capable of when motivated...

actually, i am a bit of the belief that social policy is to keep kids uninterested in science.
 

LowlyPion

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I posses the main precursor to gunpowder in me right now - I'm just going to the loo to dispose of it.
You don't want to get caught holding. Then they could get you with interfering with an investigation by disposing of evidence.
 

mgb_phys

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http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/12/teen_with_home_chemistry_lab_mistak.html [Broken]



This is insane. Cops need to get the hell of their high horse. There was no investigation, no looking for evidence before an arrest. How did they get the search warrant? Do judges really believe that anyone who has basic science equipment needs to be checked out first? What did they find on their quick survey that led them to believe that this kid was making meth. I'm sure he didn't have a case of ephedrine or any finished meth nearby.
And the war on science and intellectualism continues.
Preposterous! Scandalous! Oh, the humanity! The war on science for crying out loud. Think of the children!!! :rolleyes:
 
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turbo

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I no longer hand-load because I don't target-shoot like I used to, but I know at least 20-30 people that could be charged with possessing bomb-making materials simply because they have plumbing materials and smokeless powder in their homes. Some of these guys are doctors, lawyers, etc, who want custom loads for skeet-shooting, but don't want to pay for all the rounds. They buy percussion caps, powder, shot, wadding, etc in bulk and save a lot of money reloading their shot-shells while listening to music or talking to one another, if another person shares their passion.

I used to load up boxes of .308 ammo after finding that German military-issue ammo performed WAY better than commercial ammo in my short-barreled Remington, and I did it with a friend who had a .308 H&K hunting rifle that also benefited from the lighter load of both powder and bullet. Neither of us posed any threat to the US - to the contrary, we were a (self) "well-regulated militia."
 
That student is clearly guilty of unauthorized thinking. His chemistry lab should be confiscated, and his major should be forcibly changed to liberal arts or political science to ensure that such "thinking" never occurs again.
 

mgb_phys

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but I know at least 20-30 people that could be charged with possessing bomb-making materials
They were trying to cover up an embarrasing operation.
You wouldn't need to have gunpowder to have bomb making materials.
Any ammonia or potassium nitrates, diesel oil, charcoal, sugar - just about anything is an explosive precursor.

The anti-terrorist squad raided the wrong house in London and tried to cover it up by claiming they had found material useful to planning a terrorist act = A London A-Z
 
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Mentos and diet coke.
 

turbo

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Mentos and diet coke.
Terrorist! Publishing bomb-making instructions on a public forum????? It's Guantanamo for you!!
 
Why do a lot of smart people never have common sense?

You can learn chemistry at home IN A TEXTBOOK.

Lab work should be just that--work done in a LAB.



Without proper equipment and waste disposal, doing chemistry at home is a disaster waiting to happen. The only heavy duty chemistry you should be doing at home is cooking.
 
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Maybe the state should raise taxes to fund science classes for police officers?
 

turbo

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Why do a lot of smart people never have common sense?

You can learn chemistry at home IN A TEXTBOOK.

Lab work should be just that--work done in a LAB.



Without proper equipment and waste disposal, doing chemistry at home is a disaster waiting to happen. The only heavy duty chemistry you should be doing at home is cooking.
There is no substitute for lab-work, if you are chemist. You can theorize and read all you like, but if you want to confirm or falsify what you're reading, you need to do lab-work.
 
There is no substitute for lab-work, if you are chemist. You can theorize and read all you like, but if you want to confirm or falsify what you're reading, you need to do lab-work.
Exactly.

LAB WORK, should be done in a LAB. Not at home.
 

Evo

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Exactly.

LAB WORK, should be done in a LAB. Not at home.
I have to agree. It's the same reason that we shut down threads here where the member could potentially/inadvertently harm themselves or make an illegal substance.

It's called COMMON SENSE.
 

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