Tribal firefighter accused of operating meth lab in Arizona

March 4, 2021 GMT

SELLS, Ariz. (AP) — A firefighter on the Tohono O’odham Nation in southern Arizona has been arrested for allegedly operating a methamphetamine lab at his mobile home in Sells, according to federal authorities.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said 36-year-old Stephen Folson admitted to possessing and manufacturing meth after several federal agents searched his home south of Tucson.

Court documents show Folson was being investigated because multiple agencies had leads that pointed to suspicious overseas purchases and shipments spanning several months.

According to the documents, Folson was seen by agents picking up a package from a post office that had a large amount of allergy and sinus medication — ingredients commonly used to make meth.


ICE officials said agents went to Folson’s home and reported seeing a meth lab in use plus a substantial amount of equipment to make the drug.

Folson said he’s been using meth for up to a decade and has been cooking the drug for about three years, according to authorities.

They said Folson told agents he gets his ingredients to make the meth from China and Canada by ordering them online and paying for them with a debit card.

It was unclear Thursday if Folson has a lawyer yet.