Iowa man who alerted police to meth lab fights to have his home removed from DEA register

By Scott Kaufman
Monday, February 3, 2014 9:36 EDT
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A man in Iowa is fighting to have his home removed from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of former methamphetamine production labs.

Six years ago, avid kayaker Paul Valin found a backpack floating in the Des Moines River and brought it home with him. Upon inspecting it, he discovered it was crammed full of “tubes and cans of fluid.”

Valin reported his find to police, who determined that the backpack contained the paraphernalia and ingredients required to run a makeshift mobile methamphetamine lab. Police confiscated the backpack and thanked Valin for contacting him about it.

Now, Valin is concerned that his good deed might make it impossible to sell his 100-year-old home, which is on the DEA’s National Clandestine Laboratory Register.

“It’s kind of disturbing because it could have an effect on somebody wanting to buy the house later on,” Valin told KCCI 8.

Valin filed a request with the DEA to have his home removed, and a spokesman for the agency said that it would “look into the case.”

Many home buyers are reluctant to buy homes on the Register because of the health concerns associated with living in a former meth lab. Molecules used in the production of the substance can penetrate materials like drywall and insulation and create serious health problems for new residents.

Scott Kaufman
Scott Kaufman
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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