Methamphetamine is one of the most problematic drugs in central Florida because it is highly addictive, and can be made from common materials. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of thinking that meth can be produced without any safeguards, and the chemical process of meth production can be unstable. In some instances, this can lead to highly dangerous explosions. One Sarasota man found this out the hard way after an explosion lead to his arrest.
Meth Maker Arrested After Lab Explosion
Popular crime television show, Breaking Bad, exposed the meth making process to the public, and this has lead to the misconception that meth can easily be made by mixing some common household ingredients together. While it might be simple for an actual chemist to create meth, the average person will probably have more trouble. Research by the United States Department of Justice finds that the number of labs keeps increasing as people become aware of the meth production process.
Home meth labs are not just problematic because they allow people to access a dangerous drug. When meth is not mixed together properly, highly volatile materials can explode. This is exactly what happened to 25 year old Andrew Ilardi on January 10th.
The quiet neighborhood along Fairview Drive was suddenly rocked by a massive explosion. Firefighters rushed to the area just in time to see Ilardi rushing from the home with burns across his hands and face. Andrew Ilardi then told the fire department that he had been trying to make meth with lighter fluid, lye, and ammonium nitrate.
The firefighters relayed this information to the police officers, and detectives were able to obtain a probable cause warrant. Within the ruins of the home, police officers found the chemicals and equipment needed for meth. Ilardi was then arrested for making meth.
Ilardi is now charged with one count of meth manufacturing, and this is a first degree felony in the state of Florida. Florida takes meth production very seriously because it is such a huge problem within the area. Lab explosions can be very dangerous, and in many sad instances the explosions and subsequent fires have lead to the deaths of people who were not even aware of the meth lab next to them.
Despite the strict sentence potentially awaiting Ilardi, many continue to produce meth in Florida. Even a single use of this drug can lead to severe addiction, and Florida has a higher average number of meth abusers than the national average. Those who cannot afford to buy more meth tend to resort to attempts at homemade meth, and these home operations are the most likely to end in explosions.
Unfortunately, Florida authorties are finding it difficult to stop meth production completely. Meth makers can steal most of the chemicals needed for cooking meth from local farms that use the chemicals for fertilizers, and the other ingredients can be bought from pharmaceutical stores. Though there are some limits on the amount of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine medicine that can be bought at a time, it is still relatively easy to access for home meth cooks like Andrew Ilardi.
What’s Next for Ilardi, the Meth Lab Owner
Ilardi is currently awaiting trial from jail, and his bond was raised to $15,000 by the judge. The actual sentencing will rely on many factors. Depending on the amount of meth he was producing and his past criminal history, Ilardi could be facing up to 25 years in prison. Since Ilardi cooperated with the police department so far, and no one was seriously harmed in the explosion, he may be able to get more lenient sentencing.