The Drug Enforcement Agency named the bust "Operation Red Fusion" and targeted the nine meth labs because they used the same online company to buy materials like red phosphorous. The DEA's Administrator Karen P. Tandy said, "The danger of meth labs has spread from Mid-America to Midtown. Meth labs are toxic time bombs—they reek of poisonous chemicals that endanger children and the environment and rack up health care costs. In New York City, the potential for damage is enormous—drug criminals are playing with fire in apartment buildings that thousands of innocent people call home."
As reported, one of the men arrested was Michael Knibb, a vice president of information technology for Citibank. His meth lab was in his penthouse living at 330 East 39th Street, shocking his neighbors who called him "a real gentleman." Knibb made his own meth because he lost a reliable crystal meth source when he moved here from Seattle a year and a half ago.
The other notable arrest was Mehmetcan Dosemeci, a Fulbright scholar and Columbia graduate student in history. The DEA said that Dosemeci made meth to stay awake while writing his dissertation. Dosemeci, who was out on $150,000 bail and had the chemicals to make meth shipped directly to his home, told the Post, "It's just not as it seems at the moment. It's a big misunderstanding."
The other meth labs were in auto repair shops and even in the back of a pickup truck. Best quote is from a resident in Knibb's building to WABC 7: "Nobody told anybody ... that's insane, they could have blown the whole building up!" Ha - can you imagine a note slipped under your door from Knibb saying, "Hey, FYI, there may be an explosion as I have a secret meth lab in my living room."
Photographs of Knibb's penthouse meth lab from the DEA