Police find active meth lab in retirement community

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COCOA BEACH, Fla. —

A Cocoa Beach condominium complex had to be evacuated Tuesday after investigators said they found what appeared to be an active methamphetamine lab inside one of the units at Harbor Isles on South Brevard Avenue, which houses mostly elderly and seasonal residents.

Drug agents from the Brevard County Sheriff's Office dismantled the alleged meth lab inside one of the units at the retirement community.

Authorities said three of the suspects were nabbed trying to run from Cocoa Beach police officers.

One was injured after he jumped out of a second-floor window, police said.

The incident started at about 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Rockledge police called Cocoa Beach police to look for a stolen car. Cocoa Beach authorities said they found it at Harbor Isles on South Brevard Avenue.

Officers had information that the suspects may have been inside one of the units.

When the elderly owner let authorities inside, the suspects tried to run.

One suspect was allegedly taking advantage of his own elderly mother by turning her unit into a drug den.

Officers discovered what appeared to be a meth lab with chemicals and equipment used to make the dangerous drugs.

"She allowed her son to move in because I guess he was homeless," neighbor Joan Zultner said.

The fire department and hazardous materials team evacuated some elderly and seasonal residents due to the dangerous chemicals found inside.

"They knocked on the door and said we're evacuating the building for an hour," resident Greg Turner said.

Cocoa Beach police found another meth lab being run out of the suspect's garage last month. They said they had been looking for the suspects until Tuesday.

Residents told WFTV they were unnerved to wake up to all the commotion.

"It's a dangerous situation, I think. I think I moved to paradise and I find this," said witness Elizabeth Scholder.

Police said it's unclear whether the suspect's mother had any idea what was going on.

Charges are still pending.