There was still a police presence outside the Park East apartment complex in Lanier Heights on Thursday morning, hours after officials busted a suspected meth lab inside one of the units.
Two cruisers were parked outside the building at 1845 Summit Place NW near Adams Morgan, and one officer was stationed by the entrance, drawing stares from residents who remained in the dark about the events of the previous evening.
“I got home around 10 p.m. and the building was swarming with fire trucks and police officers,” said Anne Shinn, a Park East resident.
“I tried to find out what was going on, but the police just asked me if I live on the fourth floor. I said no, and they said, ‘Okay, you’re fine.’ ”
What was going on was a raid of a suspected methamphetamine lab that police discovered when executing a search warrant about 9:30 p.m.
One man was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. No charges have been filed regarding other hazardous materials found in the apartment, police said.
Officials have not released the man’s name and would not confirm whether he was producing methamphetamine in his unit.
The management company, Carmel Apartments, declined to comment Thursday, but police indicated that all hazardous materials had been removed and that the apartment building was safe for residents.
This is at least the third meth bust in the District in the last five months, according to police. In November, methamphetamine and cash were found in a condo in the 900 block of S Street NW. And in January, police attributed a fire at an R Street NW apartment to materials used for manufacturing the drug.
Still, police say meth production labs in the District are rare, and most cases involve possession and distribution.
Meth abuse, too, has maintained a fairly low profile in the Washington area, according to officials. Most anti-drug programs in the area focus on cocaine and marijuana use, whereas meth abuse is a bigger problem in the Midwest.
Residents of Park East Apartments expressed shock as they learned of the previous evening’s incident.
“I thought I heard a door being broken down,” one resident said with a chuckle. The resident, who declined to give his name but said he had lived in Park East for more than a year, called the building “really nice and well-controlled.”
“This is actually quite surprising,” he said.
Park East Apartments is a seven-story building with studio and one-bedroom units. Rental prices range from $1,450 to $1,900 per month, according to the complex’s Web site, and residents are mostly young professionals.
Shinn, who has lived in the building for three years, agreed that this kind of police activity was not the norm.
“I’m just trying to wrap my head around it,” she said as she climbed the slope from Summit Place up to Columbia Road. “A meth lab? It’s not something I would expect in my apartment building.”