A St. Charles County man faces a second methamphetamine charge about five months after a meth lab exploded on his property near Wentzville, burning a woman and setting fire to his barn.
Dale Lenze Sr., 53, was charged Jan. 31 with attempt to manufacture a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
A St. Charles County Sheriff’s deputy accompanied a Social Services employee to check on the welfare of children living in a home in the 2800 block of Essex Street in St. Charles County near St. Charles.
Inside the home, the deputy smelled a strong chemical odor and spotted several ingredients commonly used to cook meth. He alerted the St. Charles County Regional Drug Task Force, which sent a detective to assist the deputy.
Two of Lenze’s sons, ages 19 and 21, consented to a search of the house, according to court documents. One of them told officers that Lenze Sr. lived in the basement, but was not home at the time.
The Drug Task Force detective said he found several chemicals and items used to make meth, including empty pseudoephedrine packets.
Lenze drove up during the search, and when Lenze opened his car door, the detective smelled an overwhelming chemical odor coming from inside the car. He saw a container of fuel and a glass jar with used paper filters inside the car. He also found a vial of white powder.
Lenze told him it was meth, and said, “I want to work with you guys,” according to the police report.
Lenze is being held in St. Charles County jail in lieu of a $40,000, cash only bond.
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