LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A man is in jail because of what police call a meth-making operation at his home.
Lexington police and firefighters closed off part of Dundee Drive across from Fayette Mall for hours because of what they say they found. The hazmat situation kept some neighbors from their homes as they struggled to make sense of all the activity.
As 27-year-old John Thomas Elder sat handcuffed and covered in hazmat gear, he was in no mood to talk to us, but neighbors say right before police arrested Elder for manufacturing methamphetamine, he discovered his street full of emergency vehicles just like everyone else. "Of course everything was blocked off," said Kelly East, whose family lives in the neighborhood, "He parked in front of my mother's house, and he stopped and asked my mother, hey what's going on, and she's like, it's your mother's house. Something's going on at your mom's house, and he just, like nothing was wrong, just walked on down there."
Kelly East says her family often saw Elder in passing. They even invited him to spend Easter dinner with them, but they never suspected anything out of the ordinary. "Never would have thought that he was cooking meth or whatever it's called," East said.
Police say they received a tip about Elder and his home as part of a drug investigation. When they discovered meth-making materials inside the home, firefighters and police took precautions to safeguard the neighborhood.
Several hours after the investigation began, neighbors were allowed in and out of their homes, but caution tape still blocked the immediate area, and police limited road traffic. "Right now the most important priority is the decontamination area of that house," Lexington Police Sgt. Josh Yahr said.
Police and firefighters were able to clear the area by early evening, leaving only the suspect's home off limits. "It's just totally insane," East said, "This was a safe neighborhood, we thought, and we hope it still is. We hope that now this is gone that everybody can go back to their regular lives because this is a really great neighborhood."