A call about an assault led Waco police to uncover a methamphetamine lab in a duplex in the China Spring area late Thursday night.

Officers responded to a report of an assault Thursday afternoon at the duplex in the 10000 block of Iris Lane and found the front door standing open, Waco police Sgt. John Allovio said.

When officers entered in search of a victim or suspect, they found a “large amount of crystal substance” in plain view and about $40,000 in cash, Allovio said. Finding no one at the duplex, they left the home and contacted drug enforcement officers, he said.

“Officers took a look at what was in plain view and wrote a search warrant,” Allovio said. “Once a search warrant was signed off by a judge, we then searched the residence and during the search of the residence we found a meth lab in the garage.”

The lab did not appear to be “cooking,” but may have just completed a batch of suspected methamphetamine, Allovio said. He said there appeared to be in excess of 2 pounds in the home.

Allovio said the operation appeared to be a “conversion lab,” which would obtain liquid methamphetamine and use a chemical process to convert it to a crystal form.

Police had identified a possible suspect, but no one was in custody late Thursday night, he said.

Code enforcement officials likely would evaluate the safety of the home and work with police. Waco police and McLennan County Sheriff’s Office officials remained at the scene late Thursday.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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