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Jail time, fines for former BYU student who claimed meth lab was soap

Jail time, fines for former BYU student who claimed meth lab was soap

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PROVO — A former BYU student who claimed his rudimentary meth lab was actually a soap-making operation is going to jail.

Rather than being sent to prison, Bryce Cazier, 22, was sentenced Wednesday to 60 days in jail and must serve a 36-month probation.

Cazier, who was studying at BYU when his Provo apartment near the campus was raided, was also ordered to pay $1,483 in fines.

The sentence is scheduled to begin Sept. 1.

Cazier pleaded guilty in January to intent to operate a clandestine laboratory, a second-degree felony that could have carried a prison sentence of up to 15 years. Instead, prosecutors said they didn't intend to recommend a prison sentence because Cazier does not have a significant criminal history and was enrolling in a six- to eight-week substance abuse treatment program in St. George.

When Cazier entered the plea earlier this year, his attorney, Jere Reneer, maintained the 22-year-old actually had been making soap, but also made meth as a "chemistry experiment."

"He was making soap. And he was also making the extracts from the different oils he was doing," Reneer said after the hearing. "But he also had some naughty stuff in there. It was chemistry experiment. It's more personality-related. He was not a meth user. He didn't, in fact, make meth. He just had the stuff there, and you can't do that … and he knew that before he did it and he knows that more so now."

Police had searched Cazier's apartment, 1505 N. Canyon Road, on Nov. 6, 2014, after his roommates reported they smelled something burning behind his locked door while he was out.

Unsealed search warrants revealed police discovered traces of methamphetamine on Cazier's computer. Inside the room they found "chemicals including drain cleaner (sulfuric acid), lighter fluid, acetone, denatured alcohol, Coleman fuel," various empty blister packs of items containing pseudoephedrine, and lithium battery packs from his apartment.

Cazier's Facebook page indicates he is currently studying chemistry at Salt Lake Community College.

Unrelated case

In an unrelated case, Cazier was charged again on Dec. 3 with two counts of theft, a class B misdemeanor, after police said he attempted to shoplift from a state liquor store. Cazier pleaded guilty to one charge in January and the other was dismissed. He was sentenced to 12 months probation and ordered to pay $500.

Cazier also pleaded guilty in January to an Oct. 28 shoplifting charge in Springville and was ordered to pay $680 and serve 12 months probation.

A pretrial conference is scheduled Monday for an additional shoplifting charge in Orem, dating back to Nov. 25 and filed in February. Cazier has not entered a plea in the case.

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McKenzie Romero

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