Arrest Yields Meth Bust, HIV-Spreading Charges
Thursday, August 30, 2007
The arrest of an Arizona man wanted for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender led Montgomery County detectives to what officials describe as one of the larger and more sophisticated methamphetamine labs ever found in the county.
The suspect, Robert W. Lindsay, was also charged with trying to infect a Montgomery detective with HIV because he bit the investigator during a long and bloody tussle, police said.
Police said the struggle occurred Tuesday when Detective Michael A. Parker approached Lindsay, 43, at the leasing office of Montclair apartments in Silver Spring. Lindsay is wanted in Arizona for failing to register as a sex offender after a conviction last year in Coconino County for sexual conduct with a minor, police said.
Parker, who runs Montgomery's sex offender registry, said he began taking anti-retroviral medicine yesterday as a precautionary measure because the bite pierced his skin and Lindsay bled during the scuffle. Doctors prescribed the drugs, five pills a day for a month, in an effort to prevent Parker from contracting the virus, the detective said.
According to a charging document, police found one bedroom of Lindsay's apartment locked with a deadbolt. Inside the locked room, authorities said, investigators discovered evidence of meth manufacturing, including gallons of chemicals and an elaborate ventilation system. Police also found marijuana being grown in an unlocked bedroom shared by Lindsay and another man, the charging document said.
Police spokeswoman Lucille Baur said the quantity of lab materials seized and the construction of the equipment make it among the most elaborate meth operations found in Montgomery. She was unable to immediately provide specifics.
It was the third meth lab Montgomery police have shut down this year, police said.
Parker said he got a tip last week from a man who met Lindsay and his partner, Jack M. Marguardt, 55, at a bar recently. After a night of heavy drinking, the three went back to the apartment Lindsay and Marguardt shared, in the 3500 block of Sheffield Manor Terrace. The guest learned that night that Lindsay and Marguardt had assumed false identities, Parker said. Lindsay told the man that he was running from law enforcement officials in Arizona and that Marguardt was evading child support payments, Parker said.
After leaving the apartment, the man did research on the Internet and called Parker after finding Lindsay's profile on Arizona's sex offender registry. Lindsay is listed on the registry as an absconder. He was sentenced to five years in prison and lifetime probation, Parker said. It is unclear how much of that sentence, if any, he served.
Parker learned that Lindsay was employed as a maintenance worker at Montclair apartments, where he and Marguardt have lived since February.
Parker asked a leasing office employee to call Lindsay to the leasing office. When Lindsay arrived, Parker addressed him by his real name.
According to Parker, Lindsay said: "I don't know what you're talking about."