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Garbage fumes spark meth arrest

Hearld Review, Sept 23, 2015

DECATUR – Smoking garbage bags helped Decatur police home in on a man they accuse of operating a lab for manufacturing methamphetamine.

Cameron L. Maxey, 30, was arrested Monday evening and booked on a charge of aggravated unlawful participation in meth manufacturing. He denied running a meth lab but allegedly told police he was a meth user.

Officers had swooped on his home in the 1200 block of East Olive Street on Monday afternoon after being alerted by a neighbor to a smoking trash can. Sworn police statements allege a garbage bag was found to contain a cooker used for making meth “and a gas generator that was smoking and emitting fumes.”

Some hours later, police said they found a second smoking garbage bag nearby and this one was stuffed with two gas generators, battery wrappers, lighter fluid and other garbage associated with meth production.

Officer Lonny Lewellyn said in his statement that police confronted Maxey and contacted probation officers because Maxey is on probation for a previous conviction for manufacturing meth. “Probation officers... observed what appeared to be meth manufacturing items inside the residence and alerted detectives to those items,” Lewellyn said.

An Illinois State Police “meth response team” was called in to help deal with the evidence and dispose of dangerous waste items.

Under questioning, Maxey said he had not “cooked” meth himself but had only thrown out garbage left by others who had manufactured the illegal drug.

He remained in the Macon County Jail on Tuesday night in lieu of posting $250,000 bond. He is due in court Sept. 29.