Man accused of possessing substances to create methamphetamine


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A local man faces drug charges after police reportedly uncovered the remnants of two methamphetamine labs, including one underneath the east side of the Iowa Avenue bridge near the University of Iowa campus.

According to a series of complaints by Iowa City police, Jesse McBurney, 33, address unknown, was charged Oct. 4 with second-offense possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance precursor, after officers were called by the Iowa City Fire Department to the scene of a fire alarm at 716 N. Dubuque St. Apt. B5. According to the complaints, the source of the alarm was determined to be smoke coming from an apartment, where the firefighters reportedly located a plastic bottle partially full of an odd, yellowish liquid with tubing attached.

Iowa City police and members of the Johnson County Drug Task Force confirmed the items allegedly found — which included Coleman fuel, aluminum foil, coffee filters with methamphetamine residue — were consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine, the complaints said.

The complaints said McBurney was determined to have been staying in the room and had left the area and was missing. McBurney has a previous controlled-substance conviction for methamphetamine from 2007.

McBurney was charged again Oct. 9 after officers made contact with him underneath the Iowa Avenue bridge. The complaints said officers had been alerted that McBurney had purchased two packages of pseudoephedrine — an ingredient used in the manufacture of methamphetamine — in the past two days. He was allegedly found under the bridge with Coleman camping fuel, cold packs, and other materials used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

McBurney allegedly admitted to officers that he used to make methamphetamine and admitted to recently purchasing pseudoephedrine. He allegedly said a friend bought one of the packages from him for $40. McBurney was charged Oct. 9 with a second count of possession of a controlled substance precursor, a Class-D felony.

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