Members of the U.S. Marshals North Star Fugitive Task Force got a rude awakening when they tried to apprehend a fugitive at a house at 5137 Abbott Avenue South in the Fulton neighborhood of southwest Minneapolis last Friday morning.
When officers entered the home behind 37-year-old Jeremy Gonser, who was wanted for two felony counts of drug possession and another count of gross misdemeanor theft, their eyes began to itch and burn. The scent of chemicals wafted in the air.
Minneapolis police say Gonser was operating a meth lab out of the house's basement. MPD spokesperson John Elder tells us other dangerous chemicals unrelated to the meth lab were found inside the house as well.
No officers required medical treatment.
Gonser, two other men, and two women were hauled out of the house and detained by authorities. The men and one of the women said they lived at the home and were released. Another, 27-year-old Starlet Johnson, said she was homeless, but was arrested thanks to a number of outstanding warrants.
Both Johnson and Gonser remain in custody at Hennepin County Jail as this is published.
Elder said a special team was called in by the North Star Fugitive Task Force to clean up the property, which he said doesn't pose a health or safety threat for neighbors.
Here's a Google Street View image of the house at 5137 Abbott Avenue South:
According to Hennepin County records, the house was built in 1921 and is valued at $175,000. It's owned by Sara Shenton. Records indicate she lives at the home.
Asked how often the MPD finds meth labs in Minneapolis, Elder tells us, "very seldomly."
"I can tell you that's it's really rare," he says.