Man arrested in Muncie Walmart meth lab investigation
UPDATE: Tyler Armstrong pleaded guilty to aiding, inducing or causing dealing in meth on Feb. 13, 2017. His sentencing is set for April 6.
MUNCIE, Ind. (March 17, 2015) – Monday night, the Pendleton District Meth Supression Squad arrested a man wanted for leaving a backpack meth lab inside a Walmart bathroom in Muncie.
Tyler Armstrong, 25, Muncie, was arrested at the Taco Bell on South Madison Street in Muncie. Police said Armstrong tried to resist the officers, but was subdued and taken into custody.
According to police, Armstrong is charged with battery of a police officer and resisting law enforcement.
Ashley Oliver, 24, of Muncie, was with Armstrong at the time of his arrest. Police said she was also arrested aiding in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Indiana State Police said they discovered a meth lab inside the bathroom of a Walmart in Muncie. Tools used to cook up the dangerous and highly addictive drug were found in a backpack that was left sitting in the men’s room Thursday night.
The discovery was originally made in a front bathroom by the cash registers. A Walmart official said an alert worker saw a man with a backpack who was seen in the store several times before making purchases related to the meth-making process.
The employee informed police, who were already in the store and trailing the suspicious man. The man went into the bathroom with the backpack, but came out moments later without it.
When police looked inside the backpack, they found tools consistent with a type of meth cooking known as “shake and bake” or “one pot.” Police said this is becoming a large trend in the area.
Of the 148 meth lab busts in Delaware County last year, a majority of them were the “shake and bake or “one pot” kind.
According to police, corrosive acid had eaten through the bottom of the backpack and had leaked out on to the floor. So far, there have been no reports of illnesses related to this investigation.
The bathroom remained closed for an extended period while a state-approved cleaner was called in to return it to a safe condition. Police said this step was necessary because the drug is so dangerous that any exposure could make people very sick.
Officials said the store’s ventilation system sent the fumes up and out of the store instead of inside.