Fire Investigators Find Meth Lab, Suspect Arrested


A LaPorte man faces felony charges after an alleged meth lab in his apartment caught fire. The LaPorte Fire Department responded to the Country Acres apartment complex around 5 p.m. Wednesday evening, according to a sheriff’s department news release.

The fire was quickly contained, but the subsequent investigation turned up what was believed to be a methamphetamine manufacturing operation. Robert Depner, 23, was in the apartment with his 18-month-old child at the time. The youngster was taken to IU Health LaPorte hospital and released. The Department of Children and Family Services was notified.

Depner faces charges of dealing in methamphetamine, a Level 4 felony, with an enhancement for a minor being present, and neglect of a dependent as a Level 5 felony.

The LaPorte County Metro Narcotics Team, EMS, LaPorte City Police and Fire Departments and the Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Team all assisted with the response.