Two Brainerd residents — who allegedly were involved in the Oct. 15 methamphetamine manufacturing lab incident at an apartment complex in Brainerd — turned themselves into law enforcement authorities Monday; and were charged Tuesday on two counts of first-degree of manufacturing methamphetamines in Crow Wing County District Court.
Daniel John Hoffman, 22, and Jade Nicole Christian, 19, were seen before Judge David Ten Eyck, who scheduled their next court hearing at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 19. The penalty for first-degree of manufacturing methamphetamines carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and/or $1 million fine.
The judge set bond/bail at $250,000 with condition or $500,000 without conditions. Conditions include that Hoffman and Christian don’t leave the state, do not drink or enter into a bar and they cannot possess any firearms.
According to the criminal complaints filed individually against Hoffman and Christian:
• Brainerd police contacted the Brainerd Fire Department at 3:20 a.m. Oct. 15 to an apartment fire located at 420 South Seventh Street, located behind the Brainerd Salvation Army. There was a small fire located in a couch and authorities suspected precursors for manufacturing methamphetamine, which included lithium, batteries, drain cleaner and coffee filters.
• It was learned that the occupants of the apartment left after initially putting the fire out with a fire extinguisher and their whereabouts at that time were unknown.
• At 4 a.m., a Lakes Area Drug Investigative Division (LADID) investigator, was directed to the upstairs bedroom where he noticed a lithium battery on the dresser that had been obviously torn open to gain access to the lithium strip, which is needed in manufacturing methamphetamines. A box containing numerous match booklets with the phosphorus strike patch removed, coffee filters, salt, drain cleaner, Coleman camp fuel also were found, which are used to manufacture methamphetamine.
• Based on the investigator’s experience and training, the scene was an active meth lab using the “One Pot” or “Shake and Bake” methods.
• It appeared that sometime during the manufacturing process, there was an over reaction of chemicals causing the solution to boil out of the bottle, catching fire and set the couch and curtains on fire.
Brainerd police said when firefighters arrived they found smoke in the main hallway area of the complex. As the building was evacuated, firefighters had to force open a door of an apartment where there was no response. No one was in the apartment, however a spent fire extinguisher was located as was the apparent origin of the fire. The fire was contained to the one apartment unit.
LADID investigated the case and the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department assisted at the scene.