NIST Lab Used to Make Meth

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST is a government bureaucracy full of nerds with tape measures. They are committed to standardizing everything and writing documents about it. This campus is located in north-central Maryland. One of the onsite laboratories there exploded the other day, injuring a security guard. The investigation revealed that someone was actively cooking meth at the facility and NIST was very quick to declare that someone had broken onto the campus and stole the lab. It is much more likely that this was a NIST employee, but the investigation isn’t complete.


From Science here:

On Saturday, 18 July, an explosion rocked the NIST campus around 6:45 p.m., injuring the security guard and sending the institute’s fire and police forces flocking to the scene, Starks said. The explosion happened at “special projects” building 236, a smaller facility with laboratories reserved for particularly hazardous research. According to NIST spokeswoman Gail Porter, the lab in question was not in use at the time of the incident, but was transitioning from combustion research to a new project.

The guard, who suffered non–life-threatening burns, resigned on 19 July, Porter said.

The Associated Press has reported that Epsom salts and other materials associated with meth production were found in the lab, whereas one local television news station quoted federal law enforcement sources saying that pseudoephedrine, drain opener, and a recipe for meth were also found. Citing the ongoing investigation—which is being carried out jointly by Montgomery County and the Drug Enforcement Agency—Starks said only that “some evidence” indicates that drugs such as methamphetamine were being manufactured. He would not confirm whether materials used for the creation of controlled substances were being stored on the property or brought onto the property.

I’m guessing an employee or group of employees were using the lab, and likely onsite materials to manufacture the drugs. Or, maybe the Feds are trying to come up with standards for Meth cooks. Who knows?


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