Eureka Township man sent to prison after meth lab explosion

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 2:14 pm on Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Donald Allen

STANTON — A man who suffered severe burns after his own methamphetamine lab exploded in his car — then went on to create another meth lab — has been sentenced to prison time.

Donald Allen III, 31, of Eureka Township, was sentenced Nov. 15 in 8th Judicial Circuit Court in Stanton to from one year and six months to 10 years in prison.

Allen previously pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and operating or maintaining a meth lab, both incidents in Montcalm County.

Montcalm County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a vehicle fire the night of May 6 on South County Line Road east of South Greenville Road in Eureka Township. When deputies arrived, a pick-up truck was fully engulfed in flames. Deputies located meth components in and around the vehicle.

In an attempt to locate possible victims, deputies found a trail of clothes that had been discarded, leading away from the vehicle and into a wooded area. The sheriff’s K-9 team was dispatched in an attempt to locate the person.

About an hour later, officials from Spectrum Health United Hospital in Greenville contacted deputies and informed them that a man was being treated there for severe burns. Deputies interviewed the man (Allen), who admitted to being at the scene of the fire.

Deputies believe Allen was making a one-pot meth lab in his vehicle, which blew up in the cab of the pick-up truck, causing severe injuries to Allen and destroying the vehicle.

After recovering from his injuries, Allen was involved in another meth-related crime in Greenville.

Local law enforcement officials received information about a stash of meth paraphernalia hidden in the area of the Flat River Museum and the Flat River in July. The stash included two reaction containers and other meth production components, as well as hazardous waste associated with meth production.

The Central Michigan Enforcement Team (CMET) was brought in to investigate. CMET contacted a hazardous materials team to dispose of the contaminated waste.

The investigation turned up a suspect (Allen), who was located and arrested on an outstanding warrant for the meth vehicle fire charge. Allen admitted to disposing the meth equipment on the trail behind the museum.

“He recovered from his injuries, but apparently went back to his bad habits,” said Montcalm County Sheriff Bill Barnwell of Allen. “It just goes to show how awful this drug must be.”

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