Meth Labs and Real Estate

Yesterday, someone shared with me an article that appeared on CBS News online about a couple, Tyler and Elisha Hessel, that discovered the house they purchased had previously been the subject of a meth lab seizure.  The home, at 7218 Valley Drive in Barnhart, Missouri, was purchased by the Hessel’s in January of 2018.   According to the article, Elisha is expecting a baby and, earlier this year, the results of some standard pregnancy-related tests showed the baby tested positive for amphetamines.  This led to the Hessel’s discovering that the home they purchased was on a list of Meth Lab Seizures from a bust back on October 3, 2013.  The article goes on to state that the Hessel’s have been forced to move out of the home for health reasons and a Go Fund Me campaign has been set up for them at

Meth Labs have been a real problem in Jefferson County

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For several years, Missouri led the nation for the number of meth-lab seizures and while Missouri is no longer number one on the list, it is still in the top 5 states in the country so it’s a very real concern here.  In the St Louis metro area, the highest incidence of meth labs has been in Jefferson County.

Disclosure of meth production is required by law in Missouri

In Missouri, there is a state law (442.606) which requires the seller of a property to disclose to a purchaser if the property was used as a site for methamphetamine production.  However, one caveat is, of course, that the seller has knowledge of such activity.

How can a buyer protect themselves?

If someone is considering purchasing a property and there is a concern about its history, maybe due to its location, signs of meth production, etc, there are several things a buyer can do.  One is to research the history of ownership of the property looking for red flags.  Another would be to look for signs of illegal drug activity.  If there are any red flags or causes for concern, then, if the property is located in Jefferson County, it would be good to check the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office list of meth lab seizures.  You can find all of this, the warning signs of meth activity links to property addresses of the meth lab seizures and more on our site here.

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