Racine ecstasy lab boarded up, 39-year-old man faces charges

RACINE (WITI) -- 39-year-old Timothy Gutierrez of Racine has been charged in connection with a fire that started at a home in Racine on Friday, April 26th. Investigators responding to the fire discovered an ecstasy lab inside the home.

Gutierrez faces the following charges:

    Gutierrez has a criminal history dating back to 1996.

    A criminal complaint says fire officials responded to a fire just after 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 26th at 421 Parkview Drive -- and began working a fire in the upstairs unit of the residence.

    While working the fire, the criminal complaint states officials discovered buckets, beakers and other items that led them to believe there was some type of working lab for manufacturing controlled substances.

    Therefore, the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigations responded to the scene.

    The complaint indicates officials discovered a black duffel bag inside the residence containing vacuum sealed bags weighing about 500 grams each -- containing marijuana. Investigators believe based on the quantity, it was being held for resale.

    Additionally, officials discovered numerous buckets, burners, thermometers and measuring devices, and hundreds of liquid samples that tested positive for ecstasy.

    They say there was a full-scale drug lab that covered the entire second floor of the residence. They said it ran from the back wall to the front wall, and there was evidence a fire had occurred recently in one of the rooms, according to the complaint.

    Officials believed there was a high probability of a catastrophic event, based on items located in the residence -- according to the complaint, which is something that worries neighbors.

    "I'm just surprised nobody knew. It's just scary to think something like that is here, and there's so many kids in the neighborhood. With something like this happening, people might be scared to come in -- thinking there's more people who are in here who are bad," Ashley Gartmann said.

    The home reportedly belonged to Gutierrez's uncle, who hadn't been inside the home since December because he was recovering from surgery.

    An arson investigator determined the cause of the fire was likely spilled chemicals.

    The criminal complaint indicates Gutierrez was identified by his uncle. He has been released on bond.

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