Police: Suspect hoarded urine to fuel meth lab


by KREM.com & Katie Utehs


Posted on September 2, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Updated Saturday, Sep 3 at 8:45 AM

SPOKANE -- Neighbors helped bust a North Spokane meth lab, but it is what tipped them off that seems the most surprising.

Police say a man allegedly collected urine and cooked the meth out of it.

It is a lifestyle neighbors say that they have seen enough of on their usually quiet street. Vigilant neighbors helped take back their community, as their watchful eyes led to the drug bust.

"Random cars showing up all the time in the middle of the night they'd be here 15 minutes or under,” one resident, who asked for her identity to remain confidential because she alerted police to the meth lab.

Police say Michael Baker cooked meth and distributed it out of his North Spokane home.

Neighbors watched for months, taking down plate numbers and even contacted Baker’s probation officer.

"There are a lot of little kids in this area. I have a little kid and we don't need it around,” the resident said.

Investigators pulled a long list of hazardous materials from the garage, where Baker lived on his elderly mother’s property.

Listed in the search warrant of items seized include fertilizer, cold medicine, boxes, propane, and other chemicals used to create meth. What shows the true desperation of his addiction, neighbors believe, is the urine collection, which can be recycled and re-cooked.

Police say up to half of the chemical in meth goes through a person’s system. It is not uncommon for addicts to recycle the drug.

Baker was arrested for manufacturing a controlled substance. According to the warrant he has seven previous felony convictions.

He is currently being held on a $35,000 bond.