Clandestine Labs

A narcotics laboratory or production house is also frequently referred to as a clandestine drug laboratory or clan lab. These laboratories are mini-chemical labs designed for one purpose:  to make deadly, illegal drugs quickly and cheaply.

"Clan lab" chemists can produce LSD, synthetic Heroin and other drugs, but their drug of choice is Methamphetamine, commonly called Meth, Speed or Crank. A smokeable form of methamphetamine called Ice, Glass or Crystal is also produced.

Not only are these homemade drugs dangerous, but the labs that produce them can be located in any neighborhood and pose serious health and safety threats to the public. Toxic chemicals, explosions, fires, booby traps, armed criminals -- any of these can mean disaster for the people who inadvertently stumble onto the labs.

The Mesa Police Department has confronted this problem by having several of its detectives attend the Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement/Safety Certification Program hosted by the Drug Enforcement Agency. In the Year 2000, the Mesa Police Department located and dismantled approximately 35 laboratories. These laboratories have been located in single-family residences, multi-family residences, and as well as in vehicles and various other locations throughout the city. Many of the laboratories have been located with the aid of concerned citizens. Below you will find several signs that may indicate the presence of a clandestine laboratory.


  • Strong chemical odors
  • High volumes of traffic to suspected location
  • People coming outside only to smoke
  • Chemical containers coming to and from that location


If you spot a clandestine lab...


  • Don't investigate because of the danger to you and anyone else in the area. Most law enforcement agencies have narcotics teams and hazardous material units. Busting clan labs is their job -- let them do it.
  • Leave the area at once. Anyone without proper training and protective gear should stay at least 500 feet away from any suspected clandestine laboratory.
  • Immediately contact your police department or sheriff to notify them of your suspicions. Call 911 if you think you've been exposed to toxic chemicals of if you suspect a chemical leak in your neighborhood.


If you wish to send information anonymously regarding drug activity within the City of Mesa, there are severals ways to do so. Information can be reported online, by text message or by using a smart phone app.

If you do provide information, please leave as much of the following information as you can. Any information you leave will remain confidential.


  • Names and descriptions of people involved
  • Addresses/phone numbers at location of suspected activity
  • Drug type, if known
  • Vehicle description/license plate
  • Weapons involved
  • Type of activity observed