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Portable meth lab found in Kwik Trip bathroom

A Delafield man is charged with using a portable methamphetamine lab inside a gas station bathroom.

It’s the first time police here have seen the dangerous setup known as a “shake and bake” meth lab.

At the Delafield Kwik Trip on Wednesday, the gasoline wasn’t the most volatile substance around.

“We’ve never dealt with anything like this in our area before,” Delafield police Lt. Landon Nyren said.

Workers noticed a strong chemical odor and responding officers found remnants of a portable methamphetamine operation in the men’s room.

“When methamphetamine is created in this method, it creates a chemical reaction that can become explosive,” Nyren said.

Police located 49-year-old Gregory Hardin on a bicycle in downtown Delafield with a portable hydrochloric acid generator and tubing, drain cleaner, water and battery parts in his backpack.

“What’s called a ‘Shake and Bake’ or ‘One Pot’ method, just a portable meth lab,” Nyren said.

“That was just right in the backpack?” WISN 12 News reporter Nick Bohr asked.

“Right in the backpack,” Nyren said.

After Hardin’s arrest, state Department of Criminal Investigation agents decked out in Hazmat suits searched his garage in the town of Delafield, where they found a gram and a half of methamphetamine, according to the criminal complaint, as well as a number of dangerous chemicals that when mixed together make meth.

“I’ve seen ‘Breaking Bad.’ I understand that stuff explodes,” Kwik Trip customer Ryan Pilachowski said.

Customers were stunned to hear Hardin was charged with mixing those chemicals in a public place.

Prosecutors charged him with felony recklessly endangering safety because of the strong potential for injury to others.

Hardin faces five felony charges, and he is scheduled to be back in court later this week.

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ShirJia Bielefeld

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