When police busted what they call a psychedelic drug factory at 548 Woodward Ave. in New Haven Thursday, they stumbled across one of the largest drug seizures in the state -- $3 million.
Police were tipped off to a DMT lab about a month ago and have been surveying it ever since. Now, they’ve shut the alleged lab down and the Drug Enforcement Agency sent a team to take the contents to Boston.
The drug being made, Dimethyltryptamine, or DMT as the drug is known, is a psychedelic drug usually produced in household labs. In this case, it was being made in the basement of the house and in a motor home in the back yard, police said.
The hallucinogenic was made in two places, police said. It would start in the camper, and then be taken to the basement to be crystallized.
Police said what was going on in the camper could have blown up neighborhood.
“It’s very volatile. All the chemicals that are used, acetone, it is a dangerous, dangerous drug,” Det. Matthew Merced of the New Haven Police Department said.
The drug is rare and local police said Friday they want to keep it that way. However, an eighth grader could download the recipe, Merced said.
Merced said Canfield found the recipe for DMT and was trying to see if it would catch on. He’d allegedly made three kilos, worth three million dollars.
“This clandestine laboratory was in fact not your normal clandestine laboratory. It’s extremely dangerous,” said Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police said. “There are numerous chemicals involved here. There are other vices and things utilized to make a street drug known as Dimethyltryptamine.”
Police arrested Ryan Canfield, 32, on several charges, including operating a drug factory. He appeared in court Friday and and was set at $500,000 bond.
Canfield has been convicted for selling drugs in Massachusetts and had two weeks left on his parole. He has also been convicted on federal charges of counterfeiting and was released from prison on parole in January 2006. He is due back in court on June 9.
Another tenant of the home, Timothy Dawson, 33, was charged with interfering with police.
As of Thursday night, police were questioning a third unidentified person, who had not been arrested.
“It’s pretty unusual that this type of operation would be done in a neighborhood such as this,” said Lt. Vance.
That’s what has neighbors so shocked. They said they’ve never seen anything suspicious going on next door.
“I’m in shock. Just living here for a year and a half, this is a nice quiet neighborhood,” said Angel Fontan said. “(I) Came home at 2:30 and saw the cops and everything. I was just trying to figure out what was going on.”
They said they are glad police were able to shut the alleged drug factory down.
“It could result in people getting really hurt, explosions. These people aren’t scientists, they don’t know 100 percent what they’re doing, so I’d hate to see people get hurt. Never mind the negative things it brings to the area,” Janeen Powers said.