Elkridge meth lab bust yields five arrests

Police evacuated hotel guests after the discovery of the suspects. (Photo: ABC7)

Five people are facing charges of drug manufacturing, possession and intent to distribute after being arrested at an Elkridge hotel where police say they found a meth lab Monday night.

Howard County Police officials say they responded to the Holiday Inn Express in the 6000 block of Marshalee Drive at about 10:40 p.m. on reports of a strong, unusual odor coming from a room.

When they arrived, officers say they found three men inside a room with chemicals. All three were arrested. A fourth was detained after he arrived at the room and a fifth was taken into custody when he was found wandering around in a parking lot.

Howard County Police call this kind of discovery a rarity in the area and couldn't recall the last time authorities found such a thing.

The men who were arrested were identified as:

Josiah David Marin, 23 Swansboro, N.C. Forrest Derrick Rhoads, 34 Sallisaw, Okla. Joshua Wade Matthews, 33 Sallisaw, Okla. Amos Joel Martin, 20 Mesick, Mich. Spencer Allen Smith, 22 Lock Haven, Pa.

One of the suspects, Spencer Smith, even spoke to T.V. crews at the scene but didn't lead on that he may be involved in the lab.

Police say the men may have checked in to the hotel on Saturday and may have been traveling through the area working in construction. Investigators believe the suspects were manufacturing the methamphetamine to use themselves.

On Tuesday, police and hazardous materials teams finished cleaning up the scene.

Firefighters evacuated all of the rooms on the fourth floor, as well as the room above and below the suspects’ room. Heroin and a handgun were also found during the execution of a search warrant.

Most of the guests, though, didn't know about the drama that was unfolding inside the hotel.

"I'd be pretty uncomfortable with that, considering meth labs have a tendency to blow up," hotel guest Ryan Leese said.