Police find suspected meth lab and dead man at Plantation hotel

Inside a hotel room in the heart of suburban Broward County on Saturday were two unlikely sights: a dead man and a small meth lab.

Police in Plantation said they think the man overdosed. When they noticed gasses coming from what looked like an illicit drug lab, they left — and ordered the hotel evacuated.

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Broward County, Plantation and Sunrise hazardous materials teams descended on the LaQuinta Inn and Suites on Peters Road, west of University Boulevard, on Saturday afternoon.

Firefighters went back inside for only one guest — a man who desperately needed his clothing so he could attend his cousin’s Arabian-themed wedding.

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According to Plantation Fire-Rescue spokesman Aston Bright, a woman at the LaQuinta, at 8101 Peters Road, had gone to the lobby after 11 a.m. Saturday to report that she couldn’t awaken her male companion.

Bright said the man and woman were not from Broward County, and that the man was dead when police arrived.

Bright described the drug lab as a “shake and bake” setup, something small and not designed for mass distribution of methamphetamines.

“This is not the Mexican cartel,” he said.

Outside the hotel, a Broward County Transit bus sat waiting for any evacuees who wanted air conditioning and a comfortable seat.

Anthony Black, a 26-year-old smoke shop owner from Sunrise, was fretting. He and his girlfriend had been forced to evacuate only 15 minutes after checking in. They had a wedding in Miramar to get to at 7 p.m., and all of their clothing was up in Room 430.

The Broward Mall is nearby, but this was an Arabian-themed wedding, and their carefully chosen garb couldn’t be found just anywhere: Black’s gold shoes with gold pyramid medallions, his girlfriend’s gold snake choker, his white and gold Arabian dress, her burgundy gown.

His girlfriend was “in the car crying,” he said.

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He’d called his cousin, the bride, to warn her. But Broward Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Alex Delbert told him he’d try to help.

“They’ll send someone up,” he told Black, asking him what firefighters should look for in the room. “This is the only shot we got.”

Two Plantation firefighters came out 15 minutes later with all the bags and boxes from Black’s room. The couple hurried off to the wedding.

Other hotel guests had walked to nearby restaurants or sat in the grass waiting.

Bright said the man’s body remained inside the hotel room as hazardous materials personnel were preparing to enter the hotel around 6 p.m.

It was unknown when the LaQuinta would reopen.

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Brittany Wallman can be reached at bwallman@sunsentinel.com or 954-356-4541. Follow her on Twitter @BrittanyWallman