No record of meth-contaminated Shady Cove home in state database

SHADY COVE, Ore. — “This is one of the few cases that really, truly saddened me… because here are these really nice people who have purchased this home in good faith,” said John Neilson, owner of Neilson Research Corporation. “And now they’re stuck with this property that’s highly contaminated with methamphetamine.”

Lori Biando is living in a meth house.

“I sold my business to purchase this home,” Lori Biando said.  “It took everything I have to get in here.”

A Mail Tribune article from 2002 shows the home as the site of a major meth bust. The Shady Cove homeowner says she had no idea about her home’s infamous history.

An August report found levels of methamphetamine in her home way above Oregon Health Authority standards. The testing done by Medford company, Neilson Research Corporation.

Founder John Neilson likes to compare how easily meth contaminates a home to spilling powdered sugar.

“If you sat on their chair, you walked on their floor, you rested your elbow on their counter,” he said.
“And it’s the same kind of thing except this is very, very small amounts… and you can’t see it.”

He says his company used to test 2 to 3 homes a week listed as meth labs by the state. That’s after a 1990 law required law enforcement to register them.

Now, Neilson says those kinds of calls are less frequent but it doesn’t mean cases like Biando’s are uncommon.

“I’ve seen higher levels, I’ve seen lower levels. We get a property in Grants Pass that had two residences,” he said. “One was whistling clean, the other was highly contaminated.”

Neilson says the 2002 police report shows Biando’s home should have been listed with the state clandestine drug lab program.

But the Oregon Health Authority says they don’t have any record of it in it’s database.

“There are a lot of labs that are never discovered and could easily be sold and re-rented and moved back into,” said Brett Sherry, Oregon Health Authority.

Sherry says only 10 to 20 percent of homes with meth labs are found by police. And in Oregon, they only started reporting homes after the law passed.

“If something was manufactured in the home before 1990, unless you did some testing, you wouldn’t necessarily know,” said Sherry.

According to the OHA, the agency that should have reported Biando’s house and the meth in it, Shady Cove Police, disbanded years ago.

“The police did not do that. They did not report this to the state that they had busted a drug lab on this property, so they dropped the ball,” said Neilson.

Lori Biando has made a Gofundme account to help with the expenses; click here to donate.

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