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Apparent meth lab discovered beneath Walmart parking lot

A state police lab is expected to spend weeks examining evidence from an apparent meth lab discovered deep under a Walmart parking lot at Sheridan Drive and North Bailey Avenue on Monday. Amherst Detective Captain Scott Chamberlin says officers on routine patrol spotted suspicious activity around a tall culvert under the parking lot. State Police were called in and went into a manhole in the parking lot, where they found the apparent lab. Bottles and other items were removed.

Business as usual continued at the store throughout the process and Sheridan Drive remained open. Chamberlin says the public was never at risk.

"If it was a danger to the public, we wouldn't have put it out there. The State Police SORT Teams were what came out. They're the ones with hazmat. They are the ones that have the expertise in this so we brought them in. They did a fantastic job, photographing the scene, bringing the items out here. They're highly trained and they know what they are doing. They brought it out here because there wasn't a danger," said Chamberlin.

Chamberlin says it's too early to tell much about what was going on underground.

The mid-afternoon probe involved firefighters from Buffalo, Brighton, Clarence and Eggerstville. Buffalo officials provided haz-mat equipment and specially trained firefighters.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.