News and Tribune

Clark County

March 5, 2013

Police find meth labs in vehicle

Two in jail after traffic stop in Clarksville

CLARKSVILLE — A traffic stop for a broken tail light made on Eastern Boulevard on Sunday resulted in Clarksville Police Department officers arresting two brothers on a preliminary charge of manufacturing methamphetamine.

Christopher Zaepfel, 37, of 514 Henry Mason Way in Jeffersonville, and Joseph Zaepfel, 33, of 1732 Division St. in New Albany, were arrested after police found what they described as two “shake and bake” methamphetamine labs and other items used to produce methamphetamine in the vehicle. After the traffic stop, police found the vehicle to be uninsured and with expired tags. A tow truck was contacted to remove the vehicle from the roadway until its paperwork could be brought up to date.

Police then conducted a procedural inventory check of the vehicle before it was to be towed away, CPD Cpl. Detective Joel DeMoss said. He said as officers conducted the inventory check, they found two compact methamphetamine labs hidden below the floorboard of the back passenger’s seat.

He said methamphetamine labs of the kind found in the vehicle can produce about 3 to 5 grams of methamphetamine and can be used more than once. DeMoss said both of the men denied ownership of the methamphetamine labs found in the vehicle.

Items used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine were also found in the vehicle, including camping fuel and drain cleaner.

The brothers were taken into custody on the side of the roadway and transported to the Michael L. Becher Adult Correctional Complex in Jeffersonville.

Christopher Zaepfel was preliminarily charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, a class B felony, possession of methamphetamine precursor, a class D, and maintaining a common nuisance, a class D felony. Joseph Zaepfel was preliminarily charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, a class B felony, possession of methamphetamine precursor, a class D, and visiting a common nuisance, a class A misdemeanor.

DeMoss said getting two methamphetamine labs off the street following a simple traffic stop is the result of officers doing what they are trained to do.

“We didn’t get lucky,” DeMoss said. “It’s just good police work.” 

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