PLANT CITY — A man was arrested early Wednesday following a late-night evacuation of the neighborhood near his home, where hazardous chemicals were found as authorities served an eviction notice, sheriff's deputies said.
Ronnie Dale Porter, 35, was booked in the Hillsborough County Jail on a single charge of possession of methylamine, a substance considered a precursor for the creation of methamphetamine.
Authorities discovered what was described as a "chemical drug lab" inside Porter's home Wednesday night at 4911 Pandora Place near Plant City, deputies said.
Deputies evacuated five homes out of concern the chemicals and nearby pressure cookers could be explosive. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives went to the scene.
No arrest has been announced by late Tuesday but could be forthcoming, according to sheriff's spokesman Larry McKinnon. There were children in the home, he said, so the agency's Child Protective Investigations Division became involved.
Those evacuated were let back in their homes Tuesday night. Porter was held on $7,500 bail.