An anonymous tip led police to a meth lab in a North Side motel Tuesday.
La Crosse police — aided by specially trained state agents and sheriff’s deputies — found what Sgt. Randy Rank called “an active and somewhat large” operation in a room of Americas Best Value Inn on Rose Street and arrested two people, including an Iowa man already on supervision for meth charges.
Arrested were Brian Brainard of Lansing and Laura Rud of La Crosse.
Brainard, 27, was sentenced in March 2012 to one year in prison and another on supervision after pleading guilty to possession of methamphetamine in Grant County. Rud, 36, has prior drug and theft convictions in La Crosse County.
Both are jailed without bond and scheduled to make their first appearance in La Crosse County Circuit Court, where they face potential charges of manufacturing meth. Brainard, 27, could face additional charges of possessing methamphetamine materials and carrying a switchblade.
Police called in a team of specialists from the Drug Enforcement Administration in Chicago to process the hazardous and toxic chemicals. Among the materials confiscated from the room was a gas mask.
“He knew these materials were highly hazardous,” Rank said.
Rank said there was only one occupied room near the lab and police did not evacuate the inn, though Chief Ron Tischer warned in a news release that the presence of the chemicals in a hotel could have been “catastrophic.”