You’d think between the reactionary CenterPoint Energy subcontractor who smelled vinegar and got worried, the police officer who asked for a search warrant, and the new-to-the-bench judge who signed the warrant, someone would have stopped to say, “Wait, what exactly did you smell? Something vinegary, huh? Yeah, that’s not a meth lab.” (After all, we were able to find two decent descriptions of what a meth lab smells like in less than a minute.) Instead, a 54-year-old former nurse and her 49-year-old husband were handcuffed and told to sit in their living room and not speak to each other while the warrant was executed.
“Ohmigod,” Adams said as she recalled police breaking down her door and flashing the search warrant. “I just kept saying to them, ‘you’ve got the wrong house.’ “
Roehl said the drug task force was acting on a tip from a subcontractor for CenterPoint Energy, who had been in the home Friday to install a hot water heater.
“He got hit with a chemical smell that he said made him light headed, feel kind of nauseous,” Roehl said.
The smell was vinegar, and maybe pickling lime, which were clearly marked in a bathroom Mr. Adams uses to mix chemicals for his salt water fish tank.
“I said, ‘I call it his laboratory for his fish tanks,’ ” Mrs. Adams said, recalling her conversation with the CenterPoint technician. “I’m looking at the fish tank talking to this guy.”
Police say there was no extended investigation, just an interview with the subcontractor.
“Police raid suspected meth house, only find fish tank” [Kare 11] (Thanks to Kristopher!)