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Police: $448,000 worth of meth, mobile lab found in man’s bag

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An alleged drug dealer who passed out in the back of a cab on Christmas Day woke up to discover that police had found nearly $500,000 worth of methamphetamines stashed in his bag, prosecutors say.

Joseph Hoffman, 25, of Vancouver, Wash., was driven to the Rogers Park district police station Saturday afternoon by a cabdriver who was upset that he’d passed out and couldn’t pay his fare, police said.

But when officers searched Hoffman’s backpack in an attempt to identify him, they say they found a mobile meth lab, three pounds of methamphetamine — worth an estimated $448,000 — and $1,400 cash.

Fears over the highly volatile chemicals, which were stored in containers wired to a power source, prompted a call to firefighters, who secured the area and safely removed the hazardous materials.

When Hoffman came to, he gave officers permission to search his temporary address in the 800 block of Dakin, according to police documents.

Officers found a gallon-size bottle of crystal material suspected to be the so-called “date-rape drug” GHB, small blue pills suspected to be ecstasy and a bag of cannabis, police said.

Hoffman, who faces five felony counts of possession of a controlled substance, was ordered held on bail on $100,000 by Judge Maria Kuriakos-Ciesil at a hearing Sunday morning.

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