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Suspected underground meth lab found in Amherst

Amherst police are investigating a possible meth lab that was found under the Walmart parking lot on Sheridan Drive.

AMHERST, NY -- Police, fire and hazmat crews are investigating a suspected meth lab found in a sewer under the parking lot of the Walmart on Sheridan and Bailey Monday afternoon.

"It happens all over the country. All over the state. It's out of the ordinary for Amherst. Has it happened before? Yes," says Amherst Police Capt. Scott Chamberlin.

Amherst Police say they found the suspected meth lab in a culvert big enough for someone to stand in on a routine patrol.

"The State Police SORT Team is what came out. They're the ones, the Hazmat, they're the ones that have the expertise in this. We brought them in. They did a fantastic job collecting, photographing the scene and bringing the items out here," said Chamberlin.

Officials tested items in Walmart's parking lot Monday afternoon. They reported they found paint cans, the suspected meth, and many chemicals. Those items made many Walmart shoppers nervous.

"I seen men suited up, and I didn't know if somebody got hurt or, you know, I didn't know. And then I was talking to somebody, and they said it was a meth lab. I'm like a meth lab? In Walmart's parking lot? You know, that's crazy," said Marie Jamieson of Kenmore.

Several people saw what was happening on social media and drove to Walmart. Dawn Clowen was driving home from work when she found out and decided to stop by.

"I mean, are we breathing in all this meth as we stand here? Are, you know, I mean, this is crazy. Just not a safe environment, I mean, you can't feel safe anywhere anymore," says Clowen.

Walmart never closed and police only had part of the parking lot taped off. Amherst Police told us there was no reason to be worried.

"Once they went in there and saw what they needed to see, obviously we determined that it wasn't, or they determined, that it wasn't a hazard,” said Chamberlin.

Police plan on looking at surveillance video from the Walmart parking lot to see if they can come up with any suspects.

Fire companies from Buffalo, Tonawanda, and Clarence assisted Amherst Fire. State Police hazmat crews were also on the scene.

Homeland Security was assisting with the investigation as well.


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