3 from Hillsboro face charges related to manufacturing meth

Evidence of 'Red Phosphorus' method found

Three people face charges related to manufacturing of methamphetamine in Vernon County and eight children and two elderly people were removed from their homes in this case.

The Vernon County Sheriff’s Office arrested four people on late Thursday afternoon following a lengthy investigation into the manufacturing of methamphetamine in the Hillsboro area.

Investigators executed a search warrant at two separate locations within the Township of Greenswood near Hillsboro. They found evidence of manufacturing meth using what’s known as the ‘Red Phosphorus’ method. Investigators said this method is known to produce extremely volatile fumes during the cooking process.

Members of the Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response Team from the Department of Justice were called to respond to both scenes and help authorities process the evidence and residual chemicals. The Vernon County Hazardous Materials Team provided contaminated materials cleanup at both scenes.

One 19-year-old woman was taken into custody and was eventually released without charges. Three people are facing charges related to the manufacturing of meth: Diane Franke, 41, of 18003 Heights Rd., Hillsboro, and Amber Bown, 39, and Todd Brown, 46, of E18170A Staley School Rd., Hillsboro.

Vernon County Sheriff John Spears said eight children between the ages of 18 months and 17 years were removed from the homes. They have all been placed in temporary homes. Authorities are working to place the children with relatives. Two elderly people have also been removed from the homes.

The investigation was a result of a joint effort between the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office, Hillsboro Police Department, Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation and the West Central MEG Unit.