5 suspects arrested in Geismar meth lab blast investigation

The Gonzales man suspected of creating a Geismar meth lab that exploded last month was arrested on Thursday along with four suspects alleged to have assisted him in evading authorities.

Ryan Espinoza, 31, of 13206 George Rouyea Road, Gonzales, was arrested after Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshals Service authorities located him on Moody Dixon Road in Prairieville, Sheriff’s Maj.
Kevin Hanna said in a news release.

Espinoza was being sought after the Feb. 21 explosion of a meth lab at 37313 La. 74, Lot 181, in Geismar.

Espinoza was booked into the Ascension Parish Jail on counts of creation of a clandestine lab, simple arson, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of methamphetamine, cruelty to juveniles, three counts of failure to appear in court, simple criminal damage to property and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Also arrested were his alleged accomplices, Jason and Stephanie Powell, Robert Shawn Grosse and Emmitt Mercer.

Jason Powell, 39; Stephanie Powell, 45; and Mercer, 30, no address given, were booked on counts of accessory after the fact to creation of a clandestine lab.

Grosse, 25, was booked on counts of accessory after the fact to creation of a clandestine lab, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and possession of methamphetamine.

The case remains under investigation and more arrests may be made, Hanna said.