EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. -- Besides producing an instantly addictive drug, methamphetamine labs are time bombs that can kill with fumes and flames. A first-of-its-kind drug lab was recently discovered here in northwest Arkansas.
What was fizzing and foaming in the motel room along U.S. 62 was a first for Eureka Springs and the rest of Arkansas.
“The door opened and there, in full view, was a K-2 lab – in a fruit jar,” said Police Chief Earl Hyatt.
With the cooperation of a would-be customer, Eureka Springs police busted a man they describe as a known distributor of K-2, who'd got out of over-the-counter retail sales and into home-made drugs.
“As far as the state crime lab, and other agencies and ours has been able to determine, this is the first one in Arkansas,” said Hyatt.
Local dealers who get caught, police say, get cut off. Chemical and herbal suppliers who sell over the internet apparently constantly monitor where K2 arrests occur.
“They won't ship it. They don't want to get caught,” said Hyatt.
Arkansas, like Missouri, has so-called anti-tweaking laws. That means any chemical change in the formula for K-2, synthetic marijuana, or spice, as it’s called, is illegal.
In a small eccentric town like Eureka Springs that legally tolerates occasional pot smoking, K2 seemingly has worn out its welcome.
“I don't care if they legalize marijuana, and that would solve the problem, but K-2 must be illegal. It has to be; it’s a dangerous drug,” said Hyatt.
The police chief says, on his watch, the worst and fastest growing drug problem in the Ozarks is deadly overdoses of prescription painkillers.
The fruit jar K-2 lab is under chemical analysis at the Arkansas State Crime Lab. The man in the motel room has not gone to trial. Hyatt doesn't think the discovery last month is the tip of a K-2 "iceberg."