TUKWILA, Wash. - Chopper 7 was overhead when the Americas Best Value Inn and Suites in Tukwila was evacuated on October 18, 2013.
Now KIRO 7 has learned the room that caused the evacuation is still too dangerous to occupy.
The huge police and fire response was all because a housekeeper found something suspicious inside room #63. According to court documents, responding officers with the Tukwila Police Department and Washington State Patrol found nearly $7,000-worth of illegal drug-making equipment inside the room, which had been rented-out to 43-year-old Phillip Andrew Endres for five days. Investigators say Endres was manufacturing MDMA, also known as “mollie” or ecstasy.
The chemicals used to make MDMA are so dangerous, the motel had to be evacuated for hours while the lab was packed-up. Resident June Lloyd told KIRO 7 reporter Amy Clancy that she “was told there was a bomb in the building, and I needed to leave immediately.”
Another resident, who declined to be identified, said, “My son came to the window and he said, 'Daddy, there’s a whole bunch of police and fire out there.' They came to the door about 20 minutes later saying they were evacuating everyone.”
According to documents, Endres told investigators he used to work in the oil fields of North Dakota and that he can sell "mollie" there for three times what it costs here because of the "roughnecks," or oil field workers.
His plan, detectives say, was to make the drugs in Tukwila, then sell them in North Dakota.
“I got kids, and I just hate to see that happening anywhere,” the unidentified evacuated resident told Clancy.
Endres was booked into jail.
The investigation is ongoing. Detectives now want to see all of Endres’ bank records.