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Cops: Cab passenger was carrying a ‘mobile meth lab’ in his bag

Joseph Hoffman is charged with manufacturing delivery methamphetamine after mobile meth lab allegedly was found inside his bag.

Joseph Hoffman is charged with manufacturing and delivery of methamphetamine after a mobile meth lab allegedly was found inside his bag.

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A man was ordered held on $100,000 bond Sunday after being found with a ‘mobile meth lab’ in his bag after he became unresponsive in the back of a cab he was riding in Saturday afternoon.

The cabdriver, upset the unconscious man could not pay the fare, drove to a North Side police station -- prompting a hazardous materials response when the highly-volatile methamphetamines drugs were found.

Judge Maria Kuriakos-Ciesil ordered Joseph Hoffman held on $100,000 bond Sunday, according to a Cook County Criminal Court clerk. The clerk said it was a “source of bail” bond, and Hoffman must come up with $10,000 in cash in order to be freed, according to the clerk. He also must show proof of where the money came from.

Hoffman is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing Jan. 12 in North Felony Court, (Br.42), according to the clerk.

Hoffman, 25, of Royal Street in Vancouver, Wash., was arrested at 2:08 p.m. and charged with manufacturing and delivery of methamphetamine after the mobile meth lab was found inside his bag, police said.

Officers found about three pounds of methamphetamine valued at $448,800, police said.

A local address was not immediately available for Hoffman but police said after he gave consent for officers to search his residence they found a gallon-size bottle of crystal material suspected to be GHB, or the so-called date rape drug, small blue pills suspected to be ecstasy, and a bag of cannabis, police said.

After those drugs were found, five additional charges were added -- three counts of possession of a controlled substance, one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia and one misdemeanor count of possession of cannabis, police said.

The cabdriver arrived at the Rogers Park District police station on the 6400 block of North Clark Street and told police a passenger was unresponsive in the backseat of the cab and unable to pay to fare, police said.

Officers called paramedics and began searching the man’s bag in an attempt to identify him, police said. While searching the bag, officers noticed a strange odor and drug paraphernalia.

The fire department responded and initiated a Level 1 hazardous materials response, Fire Media Affairs spokesman Will Knight said.

The Level 1 HazMat was secured after officers opened the backpack, police and fire officials said. No one was injured.

Belmont Area detectives are investigating.



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