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Press Photo by April Baumgarten Emergency responders carry a cooler used as a methamphetamine lab from a room at the Relax Inn, where a couple was allegedly cooking the drug.

Update: Husband and wife busted with meth lab appear in court

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A husband and wife were arrested Thursday after allegedly making methamphetamine in a Dickinson hotel room where they had been staying.

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Dickinson Police were alerted to the situation after owners and the manager of the Relax Inn confronted David and Kim Dulaney about reports of suspicious activity happening in the room. Eventually, the owners contacted authorities.

“Upon arrival, we were able to make the determination that these two suspects we have in custody were in possession of the lab and had direct access to it,” said Sgt. Mike Hanel of the Dickinson Police Department.

“It was an active lab, as best we can tell,” he added.

No one was injured in the arrest, Hanel said, and the meth was safely contained by a hazardous material team. He said the Bureau of Criminal Investigation is in charge of the investigation and are “basically condemning” the building in the motel’s complex where the meth was discovered.

The Dulaneys, both of Florida, face charges of manufacture of a controlled substance, a Class A felony. The charge carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, $20,000 in fines or both. They made their initial appearance in court Friday morning. The two appeared separately before Judge Dann Greenwood via video stream from the Law Enforcement Center. Neither has hired a lawyer, but each indicated they would be applying for a public defender.

Bond was set at $20,000 cash for each defendant, under the condition that they remain law-abiding, wave extradition from the state of North Dakota, stay in contact with their lawyer and court clerk and participate, at their own cost, in a 24/7 drug patch program.

A crying Kim Dulaney told Greenwood she can’t come up with the $20,000, and said the county should pay for the bond because she “had nothing to do with this.”

Preliminary hearings for both David and Kim are scheduled for Aug. 18.

Caught in the act

Lori and Roger Jackson, of Dickinson, are partners in the motel with another person from Fargo. Lori Jackson said they had been told by “a source” that there was an active meth lab in large rectangular cooler inside the room where the Dulaneys had been staying. She said Roger Jackson confronted the guests and went to their room, where he found suspicious materials in one of the coolers.

“Once we realized it was an active lab, I got scared and I thought about the people and the possibilities of an explosion or something,” Lori Jackson said.

After calling the police, she said she blocked the Dulaneys from leaving by parking her car behind theirs.

When the police arrived, they were able to confront the David Dulaney, who Lori Jackson said was carrying the cooler. He then tried to give the cooler to a police officer and said, “This isn’t mine, take it,” she said. The officer shortly after was able to get David Dulaney to put the cooler down and handcuffed him, she added.

It was a dangerous situation and that everyone was fortunate to walk away unharmed, Hanel said.

“A couple customers were displaced, but the big thing is nobody was injured because of it,” Hanel said.

Relax Inn guests displaced by the incident were being moved to the Rodeway Inn a block away, Lori Jackson said. The Jacksons and their partner also own the Rodeway Inn and Travel Inn. The Rodeway Inn was the only motel of the three that had rooms available.

Hanel said meth labs of this sort are “far and few between” because of laws that limit access to pseudoephedrine, an over-the-counter drug used to make meth.

“These things are messy,” Hanel said. “They can potentially be expensive to clean up. It’s very unfortunate that this type of activity is occurring. But when it does, we have the agents here with the training that know how to clean it up right and give the direction to the property owners as far as the correct way to clean up their property.”

Press reporter Nadya Faulx contributed to this story.

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Dustin Monke
Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He has been a key member of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, as well as the Press' Sweepstakes win in 2013. As the newspaper's editor, he writes a Sunday column, contributes feature stories, designs pages and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff.
(701) 456-1205
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