Palm Bay man creates meth lab at homeless camp

John Miller of Palm Bay was arrested after police found a meth lab at a homeless camp.
John Miller of Palm Bay was arrested after police found a meth lab at a homeless camp. Photo by Brevard County Jail.

PALM BAY, Florida – A man was arrested after setting up a makeshift lab using a soda bottle and chemicals used in producing methamphetamine, according to the Palm Bay Police Department.

Police told Palm Bay Daily that they received reports of drug activity taking place at a homeless camp on Babcock Street. The location is in a wooded area behind the Shady Oaks Lounge at Malabar Road and Babcock Street.

“When officers responded, they found a small active meth lab in a homeless area,” said Lt. Steve Bland, spokesman for the Palm Bay Police Department.

The supplies for meth manufacturing were discovered, along with the suspect, identified as John Miller, 56, who was arrested.

A wooden box sitting outside of Miller’s tent contained a 20-ounce soda bottle with a thin hose emerging from the cap, according to an arrest affidavit.

“The tube led to a large Ziploc bag and appeared to be off-gassing into the bag,” an officer said.

Police said in the bottom of the bag, a white crystal substance was forming. Officers also discovered drain cleaner liquid and iodized salt near the bag, “which are both precursors of methamphetamine production,” according to the report.

Three other people were also apprehended near the tent, but Miller told investigators that the meth lab was his. He told police he brought it to the area “to finish the final stage of the cooking process.”

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During a search, officers found more meth in Miller’s coat pocket, along with a small bag of marijuana.

Miller was charged with manufacturing, trafficking, and possession of meth, as well as possession of chemicals used to manufacture the drug, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana.

As of Thursday, Miller is still in the Brevard County Jail in lieu of $18,500 bond.

DISCLAIMER: Arrests and mugshots were made public by complaint affidavits, arrest affidavits, and police reports. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

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Scott Lee travels between Brevard County and Indian River County and has been writing for various publications for approximately 30 years. Lee also writes for Sebastian Daily covering Vero Beach and Florida news. Currently, he covers Palm Bay, West Melbourne, and the Melbourne area.
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