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Posted on Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 9:58 a.m.

Meth lab residue on money sickens workers at Circle K gas station in Ann Arbor

By Cindy Heflin


An ambulance parked at the Circle K gas station Thursday during the investigation.

Jessica Webster |

The Circle K gas station at Stadium Boulevard and Packard Road in Ann Arbor remained closed Friday morning following the discovery Thursday of residue from a methamphetamine lab on money at the station, firefighters said.

Ann Arbor firefighters went to the station at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday after three workers at the station began feeling ill, said Battalion Chief Randy Menard. The Washtenaw County Hazardous Materials Response Team also responded and determined cash at the station used to purchase money orders had been contaminated with chemicals from a methamphetamine lab, Menard said.

Authorities also called in the Drug Enforcement Agency, the FBI and Michigan State Police, Menard said.

The substance that made the workers feel ill had not been identified, Menard said, but authorities determined it was on a large sum of cash that was used to purchase money orders at the station.

The workers were taken to the hospital for evaluation, but were not believed to have been seriously injured.

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Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

Strange happenings afoot at the Circle K.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 12:47 a.m.

Financial institutions are required to maintain records of who purchased negotiable instruments under the Bank Secrecy Act. It's the law. I wonder if gas stations and other retailers who sell them are required to do the same. I can't imagine a gas station selling a high number of money orders in one day. Each money order has a unique serial number and eventually each one will clear the drawing bank. They can get a copy or an image of the money order after it has gone through system. The police will be able to trace the bank and the account they were deposited into or cashed against. Then they can question those folks and see if that leads to some answers. There's a good chance they could catch the person, if they have the time and inclination to pursue the matter.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 2 a.m.

Sounds like a plot line in a Poirot mystery. I seriously doubt that the AAPD has the resources to do this kind of detective work for meth residue on bills and purchased money orders.

Kai Petainen

Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 11:46 p.m.

whoa! this news is crazy .... scary stuff.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 11:45 p.m.

For all the critics out there I think the writing in these articles is just fine, I think it's the ones who read the articles and comment who need teaching. It's called commenting on the story and not trying to be everyone's critic. After all we're not all perfect like some of you think you are. I think the important point of this article is that we all could be at risk from the meth lab people just as the workers at the Circle K were, and not the proper use of grammar and such.

John of Saline

Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 9:56 p.m.

Cash in one room, meth lab in another. And ventilate a bit guys. Geez.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 9:49 p.m.

Some wonder what may have been on the bills. Here is some info. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> &quot;What chemicals is meth made from? There are many different chemical &quot;recipes&quot; for "cooking" meth.  Each uses different ingredients.  Many chemicals used in meth labs are also common in homes.  However, the poor handling and disposal of these chemicals, as well as mixing incompatible compounds, can create hazards.  Common household chemicals used in meth labs include flammable and volatile solvents such as methanol, ether, benzene, methylene chloride, trichloroethane, and toluene.  Other common household chemicals include muriatic acid, sodium hydroxide, table salt, and ammonia.  Meth-related chemicals not commonly found in  large amounts in homes include anhydrous ammonia, red phosphorous, iodine, and reactive metals.  Other hazardous chemicals can be formed during the "cooking" process. Many chemicals may contaminate a property after cooking meth.  Carpeting, wallboard, ceiling tile, or fabric may absorb spilled or vaporized chemicals.  Furniture or draperies may become contaminated.  Outdoor disposal sites may also require evaluation and cleanup.&quot;


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 9:07 p.m.

just say KNOW to drug testing your cash.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

Most American money has drug residue on it. From pot to heroin to meth to tobacco, etc etc. They have been trying to pass a law that says if drug residue is traced on your money, via drug sniffing dogs, etc etc, you could lose your cash. Through no fault of your own, but instead through draconian drug laws, your cash could be government stash. dbcooper


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 9:44 p.m.

Its called money laundering.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 1:58 a.m.

They better clean off the bills they give out at the bank.

Angry Moderate

Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 9:19 p.m.

Really, can you link to the bill?

Angry Moderate

Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 9:02 p.m.

I'm curious how they know it's from a meth lab if they haven't identified the chemical.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 1:58 a.m.

They just aren't telling the public. It's been identified.

Ron Granger

Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 9 p.m.

Anyone know what the toxic substance may be?


Mon, Feb 13, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.



Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 9:50 p.m.

See my answer below.

Are you serious?

Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 7:52 p.m.

Maybe this is happening here because Walter White and Jesse Pinkman are no longer in business - at least until next season? If this means nothing to you then you are missing one of the best shows on TV.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 7:42 p.m.

I had only recently learned that meth labs are extraordinarily toxic. Literally, when they find one I guess they have to bring in the hazmat team and clean up the whole neighborhood. While I think most of the &quot;Drug War&quot; is a silly, useless waste of money that we should be using on rehabilitation, this is one case where it's not.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 9:43 p.m.

Body of Proof talked about meth labs. Whole neighborhood had to be evacuated.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

Lately it's impossible to read the news without pouring thru those posts from armchair English majors complaining and nitpicking about the grammar, spelling, or punctuation used by the journalists at How about giving it a rest so that we can actually see what the news is? Geez.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

That's poring over the money -- to study closely. Pouring involves liquid.

Marvin Face

Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 1:18 a.m.

Thru is actually spelled through.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 9:45 p.m.

I've suggested this in the past too, but to no avail. I guess they have nothing better to do.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 7:03 p.m.

Saw a meth lab get busted one time. The horrible smell gave it away.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 9:42 p.m.

I was told it takes a week or more to get rid of any residues in the area surrounding meth labs. That stuff gets into the ground it gets nasty.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 6:32 p.m.

There is something missing from this story. How much money was there? How do three people get sick from residue? I have been in meth labs (dont ask, but it was not illegal) and the only thing that makes sense to me is licking their hands after fondling the money. I would suggest any person who works with money (bank tellers, retailers, restaurants) should know to wash hands frequently AND keep a bottle of Purell for regular use.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 7:09 p.m.


mike gatti

Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 5:47 p.m.

You know you think you're having a crap day and then you read this. These people just went to work. They didn't sign up for this crap.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 4:31 p.m.

Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

And I quoted it wrong. I apologize, everyone. Rough day.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

Ahh, I made the same comment without checking first... Good work.

Kai Petainen

Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 11:48 p.m.

ha. bill &amp; teds. excellent. bogus. put them in the iron maiden.

La starry

Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

I'm not an English major , but I do think Ann arbor .com could use some better writers and editors . These stories are barely readable. The writing is atrocious .


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 4:14 p.m.

I read something at one time that said almost 100% of paper money shows traces of cocaine on it. now meth chemicals? GREAT as a shop owner I am amazed (disgusted) how many people lick thier finger before counting out money to pay for something. Stop doing this people it is nasty nasty nasty. (and dangerous?)


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 6:33 p.m.

So maybe we should lick our fingers after we touch the money!!! LOL...just kidding!

Buster W.

Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 5:47 p.m.

Also disgusting when my grocery cashier licks fingers when grabbing a shopping bag.

r treat

Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 4 p.m.

Will the English majors please stand up! Why don't you help someone learn to read instead of picking at every article. Thou ain't perfect! (hehe)


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

What is Major English doing in this article?


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 1:56 a.m.

Readers are supposed to help AA dot come writers? should not be a training ground for writers. Hire some professionals!


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 3:47 p.m.

Just one more reason to use my debit card lol


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

The fact that the residue on the monies caused people to get ill makes me wonder about the quality of the meth I may or may not be using.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 4:04 p.m.

Good one. :)


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.

Regarding the headline; My take was that the circle K was a meth lab. Further reading proved this wrong. Anyway, I'm sure the money came from out of town. So that is a relief anyway. I think it would be a hoot if they put their own name on the money order. Do the cameras show anybody with no teeth?


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 4:14 p.m.

Facts, shmacts! You can use facts to prove anything thats even REMOTELY true.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

Don't believe it for a minute. Any ner-do wells come from outside of this fair city. We all know that. It's a scientific fact.

Former A2rite

Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 3:39 p.m.

I wouldn't be so sure of that. I heard for years this type of activity is not unheard of within our walls...

Linda Peck

Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

The headline makes it sound as if the lab was at the gas station and it took a bit of reading to find that it was &quot;on the money.&quot; This is not really good press for the gas station, is it? I would rephrase that if I were you.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 6:30 p.m.

Hey Linda! They fixed the title! Good job! : )


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.

Ya know...I agree. Maybe &quot; Money from meth-lab sickens workers at Circle K&quot; would be more appropriate. Good catch.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 3:27 p.m.

The folks running the meth lab, from where this money came, need to be more diligent with their money laundering. More soap would be my recommendation. Glad the workers are okay.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 5:33 p.m.

And here I thought the meth labs were hot in Montana. Guess it is moving east.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

OH MY!!! That is really scary. We touch money everyday! I never would have guessed this one.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 12:22 a.m.

I would not be surprised if a large number of bills in circulation have been used to snort cocaine. A lot more then we think.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 9:42 p.m.

Sellers, you forgot to mention grocery cart handles. But at least stores are offering wipes to clean them off.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 7 p.m.

Haven't used cash for years. VISA debit card works just fine at almost all instances now.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

Yeah...definitely agree Sellers. I just didn't think about the residue being strong enough to hurt folks. It's pretty scary to think what else could be put on money to hurt us...terrorism never sleeps and I hope the powers that &quot;be&quot; are paying attention to this.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 4:20 p.m.

It's one of the most dirty things we touch - up there with door knobs and kitchen sponges.

Usual Suspect

Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

Follow the money. I mean, the money orders.