The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency says four people were arrested and a fifth person was found dead in connection with the discovery of a meth lab inside of an Old Town apartment house.

The lab was found inside an apartment at 178 Brunswick St. Tuesday after Old Town firefighters were called to an explosion and small fire in the apartment, the MDEA announced Friday. Damage was contained to the apartment, but drug agents who were looking for suspects in a different building on the same street two days later found the body of a man they believed was burned in the fire.

Old Town police, drug agents and the investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office determined a meth lab had been operational inside the apartment and caused the fire.

On Thursday, agents charged the couple who rented the apartment, Jason Smith, 38, and Carrier Ballanger, 31, with operating a meth lab. Also arrested were 47-year-old Don Dube of Glenburn and Sue Smith, a 36-year-old transient. All four were taken to the Penobscot County Jail and charged with aggravated unlawful operation of a meth lab. The aggravated charge was added because of the danger to others of locating a meth lab inside an apartment house, according to police.

Drug agents had been looking for a fifth person in connection with the lab and on Thursday afternoon found his body in a house at 465 Brunswick St. Fire marshals suspect the man was seriously burned in the fire and fled the scene.

The man’s body was taken Thursday night to the state medical examiner’s office for autopsy. His name is being withheld until his relatives are notified.


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