La Crosse police arrest man for ‘Shake-and-Bake’ meth lab in vehicle

Meth lab discovered during routine traffic stop

La Crosse police arrested a 52-year-old man who had a “Shake and Bake” methamphetamine bottle in the back seat of his pickup truck Tuesday evening.

Grant E. Porath was charged Wednesday with manufacturing of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, possession of methamphetamine drug paraphernalia and possession of drug paraphernalia.

La Crosse police said a routine traffic stop at the corner of Gillette and Avon Streets at about 4 p.m. Tuesday turned up a suspicious object inside a pickup truck. Officers called in the La Crosse Fire Department Hazmat team which trains for these types of situations.

“The call came into the station to assist the P.D. for a possible hazardous substance,” said Capt. Jeff Schott of the La Crosse Fire Department. “The police did not feel safe in handling that so they asked us to come in. We have some training in handling packages of that nature.”

La Crosse police said Porath admitted to having a “Shake-and-Bake” meth bottle in a small cooler in the back seat of the vehicle. Police recovered a Gatorade bottle that was half-full of a pinkish colored liquid with objects floating in it. Police also found various drug paraphernalia, including trace amounts of meth in plastic baggies inside the vehicle.

The Hazmat team tested the Gatorade bottle on the side of the road and did not find meth, but the bottle was toxic, corrosive and flammable. As a precaution, Gillette St. between Avon and Caledonia was blocked off to the public while the object was being tested.

“This is something I would see in Chicago or New York, not in La Crosse,” said James Blackburn who lives near the scene.

During the incident, Blackburn was told to stay in his home.  “A detective come to the door and he said I would like to ask you guys not to leave the house right now we’re testing and investigating a mobile meth lab, I was like whoa,” said Blackburn.

“I would’ve never though something like this would happen,” said Blackburn. “I’m glad they got caught, cause there’s nothing but kids around here and it’s dangerous.”

Online court records show Porath is out of the La Crosse County Jail on a $5,000 signature bond.