NEENAH - Police have raided two houses in the Neenah area alleged to have meth operations police believe are connected to each other.
Investigators arrested two men and are seeking a third person in connection with the Thursday bust.
Police searched the first home on the 900 block of Gail Avenue around 8:30 a.m.
Shortly after, around 10:30 a.m., they raided the second on the 1600 block of South Park.
The two locations are about three miles from each other.
"The individuals that are producing this stuff, obviously they're not chemists and they're mixing things in quantities that are not precisely measured out," Brad Dunlap, a drug investigator with the Winnebago County MEG Unit said.
Drug agents found the signs of meth production in both homes, seizing among other things various glassware and reaction vessels.
Police believe the two men have been working together to manufacture meth for more than a month.
During that time, authorities say the pair put those nearby at serious risk.
"There are many safety issues that come up for the police officers, for those that are going in and also for the local residents because there have been cases in the past where these labs have just blown up, and entire house blowing up," Neenah Police Chief Kevin Wilkinson said.
That's why specially trained officers with special gear, worked to dismantle the alleged lab as quickly as possible.
More than 30 investigators from all over the state took part, including an environmental agency that will dispose of the chemicals.
"A drug lab costs the taxpayer a lot of money, it really does," Wilkinson said. "When you start talking about all those personnel that are involved and the clean up costs that are involved."
He says the bill could reach up to $60,000, if chemicals were buried or additional problems are discovered.
Kathi Rose, who lives just a few houses down, is frustrated by the alleged criminal activity but pleased by the large-scale response.
"I hope that it sends a message to others who think that they can come into a communities and start this kind of program that it just won't be tolerated," she said.
Investigators found an 18-month-old child in the South Park home during the raid, as well as two women. They were not taken into custody.
Police expect the arrested men to be charged early next week.
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