Edgewood man unknowingly buys former meth lab

Created: 03/19/2014 10:21 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Paul Trumbo thought he found a sweet deal – but it turned sour when he discovered – by accident – that the house he was buying used to be a meth lab.

Trumbo bid $24,000 for a double-wide trailer on a pinon-studded acre and a half just south of Edgewood. It’s not a palace. It’s a foreclosed property, a federal HUD deal – and nobody mentioned “meth lab” until some unknown neighbor decided it was time for a little truth-telling.

“I thought everything was good until one day I pulled up and saw on the real estate sign on the road, someone had written – did you disclose the meth lab here – New Mexico State Police meth bust,” Trumbo said.

It turned out to be true. Trumbo dusted surfaces with a do-it-yourself meth test kit and sent off the samples for analysis. They came back from the lab – unmistakable positive results for meth in the laundry, kitchen living room, hall, bathroom and bedrooms. Everything in the trailer contaminated.

Out in back of the trailer there are two old barrels – 55 gallon drums. Neighbors told Trumbo they fear the barrels were used to cook meth.

“Something hazardous like this, if they had any inkling that there was a meth lab here I feel like they should have come in and tested it first before they put in on the market and cleaned it up if they had any idea.”

Trumbo said he hopes the deal will still go through, as long as the federal government or its real estate agents decontaminate the place. Federal and state laws do require disclosure in meth lab cases like this. Trumbo thinks this one fell through the cracks somehow.

People who move into meth houses frequently complain of headaches, breathing problems, and skin irritations. The long term risk is cancer. Some of the chemicals used in cooking meth can cause instant death if they are inhaled or swallowed.

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