BYU student Bryce Cazier pleaded guilty to an amended charge on Wednesday, Jan. 14, for operating a clandestine methamphetamine lab.
He entered a plea to reduce his felony charges from first degree to second degree. The original charge was for producing methamphetamine in drug-free university housing and was reduced to possession of precursor substances.
Cazier waived his right to a trial and will be sentenced March 25 after a six-to-eight-week drug rehabilitation treatment program in southern Utah. “They saw this as what it was, a family problem with a kid who needed to get some things straight. And he’s doing that; he’s facing up to the music,” said Cazier’s attorney, Jere Raneer.
Deputy Utah County Attorney Jared Perkins said the court accepted the charge reduction because it looked like he was “just messing around” from the evidence presented. But he said he also he would recommend the standard probation for the crime.
Investigation of the crime began on Nov. 7, 2014, after Cazier’s fire alarm sounded and his roommates found him putting out a fire on his bedroom floor. The Riviera Apartments management contacted the police, and the investigation ensued. Cazier was booked into the Utah County Jail on Nov. 14, 2014, and was released on a $2,500 bail the same day.
Raneer previously claimed his client was producing soap in his bedroom at the Riviera Apartments, but police warrants revealed that drug agents found meth residue on his laptop. Raneer insisted his client was only making soap and bath salts outside the courtroom after the trial.
Cazier faces one to 15 years in prison, even with the reduced charges. Sentencing is scheduled for March 25.
View the full background coverage of the meth lab investigation.