SARASOTA -- A homeless couple has been charged with making methamphetamine at their campsite on the grounds of a Sarasota County public library, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
Responding to information that a man was making the drug near the Jacaranda Library, 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd., in Venice, an undercover sheriff's detective walked the property Monday and saw a woman sitting on a mattress, according to a news release.
"As he continued surveillance a man rode up on his bicycle, removed several items from his backpack, and began mixing liquids," the release states. "Due to the inherent hazard of manufacturing meth and the risk to citizens at this location, deputies took the suspects into custody."
Detectives arrested Raymond King, 28, and Tiffany Stoltz, 23 on felony counts of possession of listed chemicals with intent to manufacture and attempt to manufacture methamphetamine. The sheriff's office said both suspects have a history of drug-related arrests.
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After the arrests, detectives found several items commonly used to make methamphetamine, including Coleman fuel, lithium batteries and tubing. The county fire department's hazardous materials unit analyzed unknown liquids also found on the scene, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The sheriff's office said King had been living at the library for about a month, and that his girlfriend, Stoltz, admitted to buying pseudoephedrine, a common precursor when manufacturing meth.
"Detectives learned King sent associated to buy pseudoephedrine at local pharmacies and provided them with meth in exchange for their services," the release states.
King and Stoltz were each being held at the Sarasota County jail on bonds totaling $15,000.