News and Tribune

January 8, 2013

Meth lab found in pickup truck at Clarksville motel

Police say Alan R. Luther, 41, was manufacturing methamphetamine


CLARKSVILLE — Clarksville Police Department officers arrested two men after they say they discovered a mobile methamphetamine lab in the back of a pickup truck in the early-morning hours Monday.

According to a Clarksville Police Department report, an officer was conducting surveillance at America’s Best Inn and Suites in Clarksville when he saw a Nissan pickup truck pull up next to a white pickup truck. The men in the trucks spoke for about 10 minutes and kept looking around suspiciously, according to the report. This prompted the police officer to pull up to the men and begin to question them. According to the report, when the officer asked one of the subjects, Vincent Brocato, to step out of his vehicle and patted him down, he discovered he had a firearm.

Officers then looked in the back of the pickup of the other man, Alan R. Luther, 41, and saw an electric burner, several rubber hoses and two empty gas cans along with a Rubbermaid container. Luther would not allow police to search the vehicle, at which point police used Kilo, a police K-9, to search around the truck. Kilo offered a positive alert to the bed of the truck and the Rubbermaid container, according to the report.

Police searched the container and found several empty pseudoephedrine containers, two containers with an unknown liquid and what appeared to be a working meth lab, according to the report.

Clarksville Police contacted the Indiana State Police cleanup team to dispose of the meth lab.

Luther was placed into custody and claimed he was “merely trying to help a friend” who was staying at America’s Best Inn.

Police went to the room where the man was believed to be staying and saw evidence of tools used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, according to the report. Officers subsequently entered the room and discovered more pseudoephedrine pills, but did not discover an active meth lab.

Police were unable to locate the man to which the room was registered, Chester Laswell, 51. Clarksville police are looking to question Laswell as a person of interest in the case, according to Clarksville Detective Joel DeMoss.

Luther was arrested and preliminarliy charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, a class A felony; possession of methamphetamine, a class B felony; and maintaining a common nuisance, a class D felony.

Brocato was charged with possession of a handgun without a license, a class A misdemeanor.

Luther is scheduled to appear today in Clark County Circuit Court No. 2 for an initial hearing.

Luther also faces multiple felony charges stemming from his arrest after police found he and two other people with a working meth lab at Crest Motel in Jeffersonville in late November. A jury trial on those charges is set for March 12 in the same court.