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Meth lab found in vehicle of Pipestone man

SLAYTON -- A Pipestone man found guilty last month of first-degree methamphetamine manufacturing conspiracy in a neighboring county faces new charges after another meth-related incident.

Chanon Leigh Burke was found passed out in a vehicle in a stranger's driveway with a meth lab in the trunk, according to a complaint filed in Murray County.

Burke, 34, was allegedly found sleeping in a vehicle when a Murray County deputy responded to a call about a strange vehicle in a driveway shortly after 1 a.m. Oct. 30 in Slayton Township. When the deputy woke Burke, he was reportedly unable to answer questions about where he was or where he lived. The report states Burke was incoherent and unaware of his surroundings, had a hard time keeping his balance and had slurred speech.

During a pat-down, the deputy located a meth pipe and a bag of meth in Burke's front pocket. After his arrest, Burke was read the implied consent advisory and asked if he would take a blood or urine test. He refused to do so without talking to his attorney, but when he tried to phone a lawyer, he got no answer.

His vehicle, which had been impounded, was being inventoried the next day when a deputy discovered what he believed was a meth lab in the trunk. Agents from the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force arrived to investigate, and found anhydrous ammonia in a propane cylinder, hoses, tubing, lithium strips and other items consistent with a meth lab.

Burke is charged in Murray County District Court with first-degree meth possession, possession of meth precursors, possession of anhydrous to manufacture, two counts of fifth-degree controlled substance possession, driving while impaired and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is scheduled to make an initial appearance in court Monday.

Two weeks ago, Burke was convicted by a jury on Cottonwood County for first-degree conspiracy to manufacture meth and fifth-degree controlled substance possession after his part in a meth lab was uncovered in February. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered before sentencing, but Burke was arrested in Slayton Township before that hearing could be scheduled.