Sussex — On Dec. 9 of last year, Sussex firefighters responded to the horrifying call that the Poley Mountain ski lodge had caught fire. Even more horrifying is the evidence now being brought forward linking the fun-filled family facility to meth-manufacturing motorcycle mayhem.
Days after the investigation, large amounts of battery acid, drain cleaner, lantern fuel and antifreeze were found in a storage shed behind the lodge. “These are all precursors used to make the illicit drug,” said police Chief Chris Thibodeau of the findings. “Beakers, buckets, hoses, thermometers, hotplates, measuring cups, various sizes of Pyrex glassware — the list goes on — were all found in a boiler room close to where the meth was presumably being processed.
“The equipment found here is all too familiar. There is no doubt in our minds that this was a full-blown meth lab with the potential of producing up to 70,000 kilograms monthly.”
The baffling discoveries left residents of the small town in shock, but to some this came as no surprise. The hill had seemingly taken a turn for the worse in recent months.
“I’m not surprised at all,” said a local woman who would like to remain unnamed. “We used to walk the dog around the lodge in the summer. It was always nice and quiet and then all of a sudden these bikers started hangin’ around. One night they had a bonfire goin’ in the parking lot and I could have sworn they had manager Brent Armison up against the building. They were shaking him … it was a real bad scene.”
Sussex Mayor Marc Thorne had this to say about the issue: “I hate to say it, but with Poley’s year-ends reported at a loss for 7 consecutive seasons, it would make sense for the failing franchise to do something like this on the side. Meth production can be a very lucrative business, especially with all the young people and small communities in our province.”
Locals weren’t the only ones to witness sketchy behaviour around the lodge. Several Poley Mountain employees have recently come forward with some quite peculiar happenings in the weeks leading up to opening day:
Nov. 18 – A small explosion that blew out the back wall in some basement change rooms rattled workers upstairs. A few men in hazmat suits were seen attempting to extinguish the blaze. After failing to do so, the men ran off into some nearby woods.
Nov. 22 – Strong burning plastic-like odours streaming up through the vents set off fire alarms in the building. Strange smells from the basement were reportedly “ongoing.”
Nov. 25 – A malnourished young woman wandered into the lodge asking whether “Ziggy” was around, muttering something about the man owing her something. She then proceeded to take a nap in the corner on the floor.
Nov. 26 – The anonymous woman returned demanding to speak to “Ziggy.” She made her way into the kitchen and commenced throwing around pots and pans, screaming “Where the f*ck is Ziggy!? Where the f*ck is Ziggy?!” Sussex RCMP were called and the woman was later apprehended. Information later revealed that Ziggy had in fact been manager Brent Armison’s “cook” name.
Nov. 27 – Two men in leather aprons appeared from the basement asking Poley staff for aluminum foil, coffee filters and/or propane cylinders.
Apparently the once-prominent ski hill manager started showing up to pre-season meetings with strange burns on his arms and face. “He became agitated very easy and he was always really wired and sweaty,” an employee told The Manatee. “He showed up to one meeting wearing a mask like the guy in Breaking Bad.”
The investigation is ongoing; however, Armison, also known as “Ziggy,” remains in custody for questioning.