Garfield County Sheriff issues warning about suspicious ‘river bottles’

John Stroud
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
At least 27 bottles like this, heavily wrapped in duct tape, have been found in the Roaring Fork River between Basalt and Ranch at Roaring Fork in the last six months. Police say mark the location and call authorities for proper removal.
Basalt Police Department/Courtesy Photo

The discovery of several duct tape-wrapped bottles in the Roaring Fork River near Basalt suspected in the manufacturing of methamphetamine has prompted a tri-county warning from law enforcement officials.

“Over the past week, residents of Garfield, Eagle, and Pitkin Counties have encountered an influx of bottles turning up on river banks,” according to an alert from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office. “The bottles are similar in size to a water bottle, but are easily recognizable as they have all been mostly encapsulated in duct tape.”

In most instances, according to the release, the bottles have been filled with a blue or purple liquid and a paper-like substance.  “The contents of the bottles are corrosive and flammable; furthermore, the contents are hazardous to human health,” the sheriff’s office warns.

Anyone finding a suspicious bottle along area riverbanks or in any location is advised to not move, touch, or open the bottles.  “Instead, note the location and immediately contact your local law enforcement representatives,” the release states.

In late January, 27 such bottles were found in or along the Roaring Fork River near Basalt. Similar discoveries had been made in the area as far back as summer 2017, according to reports from Basalt Police.

Authorities suspect the bottles were used in what’s known as the cold-cook method of making methamphetamine, Munch said. Samples have been taken from several bottles and shipped to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for testing.


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