Jacksonville Police arrested four suspects—two males and two females—for involvement in operating a meth lab that housed ‘dangerous’ chemicals.” On Thursday afternoon authorities received a tip that the suspects were buying a “suspicious amount of materials” used in manufacturing the drug, along with a description of the vehicle in which it was being transported.
A traffic stop and search revealed precursor chemicals used to make meth, according to the Jacksonville Daily News reports.
Christine Seymour, 36, Jack Ames II, 32, Steven Malpass, 48, and Sybil Batchelor, 57, all of Jacksonville, were arrested and charged with three counts each of possession and distribution of meth precursor and with felony conspiracy in connection with a meth lab operation in a garage on Ash Street, in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Jacksonville police closed the street during the investigation on Friday.
Jack Ames, who resides at 106 Ash Street, is being held on $187,000 bond. He is also charged with manufacturing meth and possession of a weapon of mass destruction---derived from the fact that meth labs house such volatile ingredients that they can catch fire or explode, causing mass destruction.
Batchelor, Seymour and Malpass are all being held on $67,000 bond each.
17 PIT BULLS ALSO FOUND
Seventeen Pit Bulls were also found in buildings on the property and one was chained inside the garage meth lab.
The Pit Bull inside the garage was sedated before being removed by law enforcement officers. The dog was then turned over to Animal Services for transport to a facility for decontamination and to evaluate its health, according to the report.
Onslow County Animal Services removed the other animals. Officers did not comment on why so many dogs were on the property. Jacksonville Police Lt. Ronnie Dorn told reporters, “It would be speculation as to that part of it.”
Alan Davis, the Animal Services director, said the dogs were in “fair” condition, with good body weight. He noted that they did have some skin problems, but did not comment on whether there was any scarring that would indicate any had been used in fighting
Davis said that all the dogs are on “hold” status until animal control determines who owns them and whether it is safe for them to return home.
He said the investigation has disclosed that the Pit Bulls belong to multiple owners. Some belong to residents of 106 Ash Street, where Jack Ames II resides.
They have also traced the ownership of some of the dogs to someone as far away as Fayetteville, which is about 110 miles.
Once the Pit Bulls were removed, police reported that an assessment of the crime scene determined there was no immediate public safety concern.
Jacksonville Police Lt. Ronnie Dorn, investigations supervisor, said that evidence showed meth had been cooked in the garage previously, but there was not an active lab when officers arrived.
An SBI chemist was dispatched to process evidence at the site and the homeowner was notified of the bust, the Daily News reported.
This is the fourth meth lab dismantled within Jacksonville city limits this year.
"We're seeing more and more meth labs,” officers said.
Source: JD News