Meth Lab Found in Former Cape Cod Cranberry Bog

One man allegedly told police he's a 'safe cook.'

Photo via iStock/Terryfic3D

Photo via iStock/Terryfic3D

Officers arrested a homeless man Friday after finding what appeared to be a “shake and bake,” or improvised meth lab, in a former cranberry bog near Cape Cod Hospital in West Yarmouth, police said.

Police went to the bog around 2 p.m. to issue trespassing notices at the homeless encampment there, and reportedly found: propane tanks, batteries, a burner, coffee filters, Sudafed wrappers, household chemicals, bottles of cloudy liquid, and two recent prescription bottles for one Stewart Catchings. Some of these items tested positive for “presumptive presence of methamphetamine,” police said.

Catchings, 31, tried taking off on his bike, but was stopped by officers and charged with felony possession to distribute methamphetamine, police said. He allegedly said he was “a safe cook” while getting booked.

The bog’s homeless population has become a “nuisance” to the nearby neighborhood, Yarmouth Deputy Police Chief Steven Xiarhos said. Hospital security staff have offered those living in the bog illegally a $20 gift card for food and information for finding shelter elsewhere

Catchings is expected to appear in Barnstable District Court on Monday.