Meth lab discovered in casino hotel after fire

AP photo

AP photo

Police have charged a New Jersey man with setting up a methamphetamine lab in an Atlantic City casino hotel room that caught fire Wednesday, causing four floors to be evacuated.

The Wednesday morning fire at the Tropicana Casino & Resort injured two people: the man who rented the room and was later arrested, and a hotel employee who entered the room after the fire was detected.

Their conditions were not available Thursday.

Police hotel video footage captured individuals fleeing the room and hotel before the arrival of security and first responders. Detectives were able to quickly identify the two males and one female.

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Police charged 49-year-old Michael Pillar of Whiting, New Jersey with maintaining a drug production facility, possession of methamphetamine, and criminal mischief.

Authorities say Pillar, who rented the room, was sent to the Atlantic County Justice Facility. The two other individuals were released with no charges.

Damage from the fire was contained to the room on the 44th floor of the casino’s west tower where the fire occurred.

The New Jersey State Police Hazardous Material Response Unit dismantled the lab.

It could not immediately be determined whether Pillar has hired a lawyer.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact the Atlantic City Police Department Special Investigations Section at 609-347-5858. Information can be sent via text to tip411 (847411). Begin the text with ACPD. All texts are anonymous.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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