A man and a woman were in custody early Thursday morning after a meth lab bust at a Motel 6 in Argyle Forest, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Police say a motel employee flagged down a police officer just before 10:30 p.m. Wednesday to say something suspicious was going on in one of their rooms.
"They had started to smell something odd. It sparked their attention," JSO spokeswoman Melissa Bujeda said. "They did the right thing. They checked it out, they saw something they knew wasn't good and contacted police."
Police investigating at the motel off Youngerman Circle determined a meth lab was in one of the rooms on the lower floors and called the bomb squad and Jacksonville Fire-Rescue's hazardous materials team.
By morning, police had arrested Michael Aderhold, 46, and Dawn Hoden, 39, on charges of possession of chemicals for the manufacture of controlled substances. Aderhold was also charged with possession of marijuana.
According to the arrest report, Aderhold and Hoden had disconnected the fire alarm.
All the motel's guests were evacuated for about three hours while the Hazmat team seized the drugs and incinerated them. The building where the meth lab was found remained off limits all night.
"I was asleep, completely asleep. First thing I heard was banging on the door and, 'You gotta get out. There's been evacuation and we need everybody out. You got to go across the street.' That's the first I heard about anything," said Martin Widdowson, a motel guest from Massachusetts.
This is the second meth lab bust in over a month at the same Motel 6 on Youngerman Circle. Officers evacuated the motel on May 15 and detained three people on the scene. One guest named Dorian, who stays at the motel while working in Jacksonville, witnessed both busts.
"I was actually asleep around 8 (p.m.), got home from work an hour before that. I woke up and hear the door banging for almost five minutes. Went to open the door and JSO's like, 'You need to evacuate,' and I'm like, 'Again?'" Dorian said. "I'm here waiting and I look at my app and I see bomb squad reporting here to this address, so I'm like, 'Great, another bust."
Police say if you ever see anything suspicious, call them to investigate. Meth labs can trigger explosions that can be very dangerous. Meth lab busts have been happening in various areas around northeast Florida.
"Just yesterday we had one in a very nice neighborhood in a very expensive home," Bujeda said. "Now we have one in a motel that people, you know, doesn't cost as much to stay in. It's all over the spectrum. It goes from high end to low end. Unfortunately, it's an addiction and people will do whatever they need to do to meet that addiction."