Attention: Self Storage and Mini Storage Operators and Managers!
During the course of numerous clandestine laboratory investigations several clandestine laboratories, some boxed, some operating, have been seized at self storage and mini storage facilities.
It is common knowledge in law enforcement circles, that persons involved in the illegal manufacture of controlled substances will use storage and mini storage facilities to store the hazardous chemicals, laboratory glassware and apparatus used in their illegal activity. On some occasions the individuals will actually "cook" inside the storage facility. These individuals do this to avoid detection by law enforcement and to keep these hazardous chemicals and the "cooking" process away from their residence. The Department of Justice has come up with the following guidelines and a basic profile of Methamphetamine manufacturers to assist all storage and mini storage personnel in identifying these individuals. By being aware of this profile, not only can you help prevent the spread of dangerous drugs in our community, but you can protect your customers from potentially damaging chemicals.
Please remember that these are only guidelines and may vary with individuals:
We would appreciate any help you can provide in this area. We are facing a major problem in California which is of concern to all of us. If you have any questions or information regarding a person fitting the profile, please call your local police agency. Please take no action on your own, except to contact your local law enforcement.
- Age Group - Generally 25 to 35 years old, but persons in their 60's have been involved.
- There is no specific ethnic group, subjects from all the various ethnic groups have been involved in this type of activity. Currently, however, a large influx of Mexican National persons have become involved in the drug business and extensively use storage locker facilities.
- May look like "biker type" individuals with dirty, longish hair, and various tattoos.
- Vehicles utilized are usually older model pickup trucks, vans and rental/moving vans.
- Subjects may rent two or more storage lockers at one time.
- Will probably pay in cash and may pay several months in advance.
- May want 24 hours access to the locker(s).
- Makes many unusual and seemingly unnecessary trips to and from the storage locker(s).
- Often they will bring other persons to the locker to help them move large chemical containers and to act as a "look out" while chemical containers and contraband is loaded into and out of their vehicles.
- They usually keep items covered up in their vehicle when coming and going from the facility
- They may seem unusually nervous or paranoid.
- They may smell of chemicals odors.
- Look for placards on boxes and drums, i.e. corrosive, flammable, poison placards
- Chemical odors may be coming from the storage locker itself.
- The items stored in the locker will not look like normal household items and persons may close the storage locker door when they are approached by the facility personnel.
- Look for laboratory glassware.
Source: California Department of Justice, Advanced Training Center