Drug charge filed in connection with NIST lab explosion

A former federal police officer has been charged with trying to manufacture methamphetamine inside a federal laboratory in Maryland. The makeshift drug lab is believed to have triggered an explosion at the facility in July.

Christopher Bartley resigned July 19 — the day after the explosion at the National Institute of Standards and Technology campus in Gaithersburg, says agency spokeswoman Gail Porter.

He served as a supervisory police officer, says Porter.

Bartley suffered significant burns in the explosion but was treated and quickly released from the hospital.

Investigators found pseudoephedrine, Epsom salt and other materials related to the manufacture of meth at the explosion site.

It was unclear whether Bartley has been arrested or when he is scheduled to appear in court.

WTOP will have more on the story as it develops.