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Evidence of “Mobile” Meth Lab Uncovered In Woods Within Palm Harbor Golf Club

| May 16, 2014

Authorities made a curious discovery in the woods within Palm Harbor Golf Club late Thursday afternoon. (© FlaglerLive)

Authorities made a curious discovery in the woods within Palm Harbor Golf Club late Thursday afternoon. (© FlaglerLive)

Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies on Thursday (May 15) uncovered evidence of what they termed a “mobile” lab that may have been used to manufacture methamphetamine in the woods within the Palm Harbor Golf Club in Palm Coast. The evidence was discovered not far from a house on Cooper Court busted a year ago for being an alleged meth lab.

The discovery late Thursday afternoon was triggered by the reports of a screaming, half-naked woman who yelled from the deck area of the clubhouse that she was on fire, that she was trying to get away from people who had assaulted her, and that there was a meth lab in the woods.

The woman, Nicole A. Rizzo, 22, of Bracken Lane in Palm Coast, is not unfamiliar to local authorities: she was last jailed at the Flagler County jail on a felony probation violation last year, and had previously been arrested on drug paraphernalia possession, theft, and failure to appear in court charges. As she was screaming and acting irate, deputies secured Rizzo in a cruiser and requested paramedics to check her out.

“While in the rear of my vehicle,” a deputy’s report on the incident relates, “Nicole continued to make numerous statements about a methamphetamine lab in a location she called the island of the Palm Harbor Golf Course. Nicole stated she was in the woods on the golf course with approximately five people, mostly
males and they were cooking meth. Nicole stated that she felt that she was being attacked” by two people, a 42-year-old woman and a 27-year-old man, whom she identified by name. “When I asked Nicole to clarify what she meant by being attacked, she stated that she thought they were trying to kill her. Nicole stated that [one of the suspects] was trying to harm her and that [the other] was trying to lure her into the water in the woods. Nicole stated that they threw some chemical on her and that is why her skin was burning.”

Paramedics evaluated Rizzo and concluded that she was under the influence of some type of narcotics or a combination of different ones. Rizzo conceded to paramedics that she takes opiates. But she continued to make claims about the meth lab in the woods, and offered to show deputies precisely where it was located. Deputies followed Rizzo about a quarter of a mile into the wooded area of the golf course from the clubhouse area, traveling rough terrain along the canal, facing north, parallel to Club House Drive.

After checking several possible locations, Rizzo led the deputies “to an area that had apparently been occupied by someone,” the report states. “As we approached this location, I observed a tent structure in the woods 100 yards east of our location. I asked Nicole about this tent, in which she replied that [one of the suspects she’d mentioned earlier] placed that tent there and uses it.” Additional deputies were called to the scene before they proceeded closer to the tent to resume the search.

Rizzo then began pointing out chairs, bottles and other things she said “they” placed in the woods to cook meth. She pointed out a green lawn chair resting against a tree, and said that was one of the locations where meth-production material was hidden. With Rizzo secured away from the scene, deputies approached the area of the chair and saw a large brown purse or piece of luggage, along with a plastic bag, and smelled propane. Deputies then contacted others at the sheriff’s office to inform them that a possible meth lab had been uncovered, and requested the narcotics unit.

The entire area was secured. The tent was searched but proved empty. Rizzo pointed out another location across the canal that could also have been a meth lab zone, where deputies did find additional materials suggestive of such activity, but not conclusively so. The narcotics unit arrived at the scene at 7:48 p.m. and assessed the materials found, processing and removing it from the scene for further evaluation elsewhere. “Later upon further investigation it was determined that the materials found were a quantity of common household products commonly associated with the illegal production of methamphetamines,” the report states, “however there was no active cook or product located in the bag.”

Rizzo, still disoriented, was taken to Florida Hospital Flagler then returned to a deputy’s custody, at which time she asked for a lawyer. Deputies spoke with another woman Rizzo had identified–a woman Rizzo said was not involved in illegal activities. The woman wrote in a statement that she, Rizzo and another person had gone into the woods around midnight the previous night, but got too scared, returned home and went to sleep.

“At this time there is no other evidence of illegal manufacturing of methamphetamines at this location,” the report concludes. “This incident will be turned over to Investigative Services for follow up of witnesses involved. No charges will be filed in reference to something being thrown on Nicole to burn her and kill her due to no evidence of chemicals that were supposedly thrown on her could not be verified by any visible injury.”

In April 2013, a house at 1 Cooper Lane, reputed to be inhabited by a large number of people with many children, was raided for being a suspected meth lab. Three people were charged, two–Brent Chambers and Will Hodge–were sentenced to 18 months in prison. Charges against the third, a woman, were dropped.

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24 Responses for “Evidence of “Mobile” Meth Lab Uncovered In Woods Within Palm Harbor Golf Club”

  1. NortonSmitty says:

    Hi. We’re in a hurry. Mind if we play through? Don’t mind if we do, Fore!

    Keep it classy Palm Coast.

  2. Fredrick says:

    I’m confused, the article says “Mobile” meth lab. How can an island be “mobile” ?

  3. Dave says:

    Breaking Bad: The Palm Coast Story

  4. ryan says:

    Real nice. Right down the street from where I live. I am so tired of these nasty tweekers polluting our neighborhoods while people complain about potheads. Wake up people.

  5. JGarcia says:

    More disappointment from Palm Coast. Meth labs on golf courses, closed golf courses…I came here to retire and play golf! Anyway, lock them up and toss out the key. The local economy and housing market still stinks and this is what it draws, financially compromised or homeless types.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      Yep, you nailed it. The entire problem is all these damned poor people. And you have the solution, “lock them up and toss out the key.” Granted, it’s not a Final Solution, but it will have to do until we get some real Leadership in this Godamned country!

      Until then please change your pen name.

      • JGarcia says:

        Nah, I like JGarcia. I actually met him back in the day. To clarify what I said, the depressed local economy and the low property values have resulted in a lot of rentals and the rentals are cheap. The demographics of the area are changing and not for the better. No, homeless should not be locked up. Meth lab entrepreneurs and folks who commit assaults should be locked up. Thank you!

        • NortonSmitty says:

          I’m sorry, I thought I detected Grumpy Old Man Syndrom on my first reading. My bad. But things wont change around here until it is no longer cheaper to rent a 3 bedroom house with a lanai here than in Holly Hill. Or Terrapin Station.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe instead of building monuments to themselves they should use the money to tackle the real problems, an added emphasis on education, job training and opportunity would be a good start.

    • Nancy N. says:

      I’m glad the golf courses are closing. This is what they draw – elitist types with no sympathy or concern for their fellow human beings.

  6. m&m says:

    Norton you are so right and it starts in the white house and his spineless way of running the country.. He had a goal when first elected and that was to destroy this country and he’s right on track..

    • NortonSmitty says:

      Double M, it mite be time to recalibrate the ol’ Sarcasm Meter buddy.

    • A.S.F. says:

      m&m says–Unfortunately, m&m, for the sake of your argument, the states with the highest proportion of problems with Meth production are “red” states, many of them in the mid-west…you know, God, country and apple pie…and Meth labs. Meth is cheap and easy to produce (a little harder now that some of its over the counter ingredients and now being sold and tracked behind the counters of most major drug store chains.) Still, there’s lots of ways around that. And, as this article shows, the “labs” are easy to dismantle and move around. The real problem is supply and demand. As long as there is a demand, there will be suppliers. Obama has very little to do with it….unless you want to hope that easier access to addiction treatment under the ACA might help some addicts and their families obtain the services needed to overcome this problem. And, as someone who has worked in the field, I can tell you that Meth Addiction is one mean mother to treat.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t the liberal politicians legally Meth?

    • A.S.F. says:

      @Anonymous says–In a word, no.

      • nomad says:

        In a word, YES! Except it’s legalized in the form of prescription drugs for the middle class and elites. And they’re not labeled “crack heads” or “nasty tweekers.” No, big pharma disguises their addiction under “depression” and “anxiety” – such nice sounding middle class afflictions that, instead, gives the addict evaluated social status. It’s all about branding.

        • A.S.F. says:

          Are you saying, nomad says, that people are being prescribed Methamphetamine for “Depression” and “Anxiety?” I have NEVER met a legitimate physician who would even THINK of doing such a thing! Crystal meth is cooked, by the way. How the hell do you suppose that people get a “prescription” for that? Amphetamines, in pill form, as controlled substances, are tightly controlled. They would NOT be prescribed for Anxiety or Depression. But Stimulants are sometimes prescribed for Narcolepsy (Provigil) and for Attention Deficit Disorder (as with Ritalin.) I DO agree that Ritalin is overprescribed sometimes, especially in regards to children. But, used correctly, it can PREVENT the development of even more serious mood disorders as those children grow older. As for “Pill Mills”–I DO agree that they are a problem. And the doctors and their Pharmacist counterparts who are milking the system and the desperation of addicts for all it is worth for them should be hunted down and duly prosecuted. They should lose their licenses and never get them back. But that has very little to do with the problem of Crystal Meth as described above. If I were a legitimate doctor, I think I would be wary of prescribing any type of addictive substance to someone who came into my office with track marks, unless I was treating them for withdrawal–and Amphetamines would not fall into the class of drugs used to treat withdrawal.

  8. Florida Native. says:

    “Caddy Lab”. If you couldn’t laugh about this town you would have to cry.

  9. That area is known as ‘ Sesame Island ‘. It is encumbered by the Federal Trade Commissions ‘ Consent Agreement ‘ for ‘The Palm Coast Project’ more specifically F.T.C. Docket C-2854. That ‘Consent Agreement’ and Federally ordered ’15 year Compliance Report ‘ was for REDRESS ordered for me/us/ThePalm Coast Project.

  10. Mary Canady says:

    No, the liberals politicians did not “legally Meth.”. And once again you Repubs want to blame this on Obama? Give me a break.

  11. snapperhead says:

    While investigating anyone know if police found a Titleist 2 with 3 black spots in a triangular pattern? I’d like it returned ;)

  12. Jennifer Lopez says:

    You people are so full of crap? WhaT IS THE CERTAIN TYPE of people. That golf course is a great investment that the city has made, and employ alot of people as well.
    They have updgrade that place, and built a nice course for being as old as it is.
    Those people who had the meth lab dont even work there.
    My son just finish a school a course called “agronomy” which is the study of turf. He worked at that course and got some very best training. He now is a Superintendent down on a course in South Florida and make more money than I do.
    SO, stop being so rude and accept that some of the citizens in this community are not all there.

  13. Sherry Epley says:

    I stubbed my toe this morning. . . we should all blame that on President Obama too! LOL! Playing through. .

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