A report in the Guthrie Center Times says a fire in a pickup truck last Friday morning (Nov. 11th) in Panora was caused by a mobile meth lab mishap. Police in Panora told the paper the Panora Fire Department was called at 11:30-a.m. to a vehicle fire at the Troy Downing residence. An investigation determined the 1999 Dodge Ram pickup registered to 34-year old Frank Howey, Jr., of Panora, began with a meth lab inside the vehicle.
Local authorities notified the Iowa Narcotics Division. A follow-up investigation resulted in Howey being arrested on felony charges which included: manufacturing methamphetamine (under five grams); possession of drug precursors; and, receiving precursors. Howey was also charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was being held in Guthrie County jail on a $20,000 cash only bond. His preliminary hearing, which was to have been held yesterday (Thursday), was instead continued until Monday (Nov. 21st).
In addition, 36-year old Troy Downing, of Panora, was arrested on a felony charge of furnishing a precursor, and prohibited acts, an aggravated misdemeanor. Downing posted a $10,000 cash bond Monday afternoon and was released from Guthrie County jail. 27-year old Brooke Whitney, of Panora, was arrested on a felony charge of with furnishing a precursor. She was being held in the Guthrie County jail on a $10,000 cash only bond. Her preliminary hearing was set for Nov. 21st.