The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office charged six people with manufacturing methamphetamine shortly after crews rescued the occupants from a burning mobile home early Saturday.
Arrested were Monticello residents 25-year-old Brittany A. Lowhorn, 25; Billy L. Ray, 54; Heidi R. (Conner) Savage, 36; Shane Ray Savage, 36; Justin E. Smith, 35; and Kendell L. Thompson, 24.
In addition to being charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, all six face charges of second-degree arson and tampering with physical evidence. The charges will be increased because a Hi-Point 9mm handgun was found inside the residence, according to a news release from Operation Unite, a drug task force in Eastern and Central Kentucky.
Investigators arrived at the scene about 4 a.m. after receiving a complaint about a possible meth lab at Ray’s home on Mobile Manor, east of Monticello off Ky. 90 near Mill Springs. A sheriff’s deputy and Monticello police officer went to investigate.
One of the suspects looked out the door when the deputy and officer knocked on the door, but nobody answered. Because they had noticed a chemical smell, UNITE detectives were called for assistance, according to the release.
The officers heard people moving around inside the trailer, then saw smoke coming from one end. The Monticello Fire Department was called in.
The deputy then kicked through a fortified door, and then located five of the suspects in a rear bedroom. A firefighter pulled out the sixth person, the release said.
All six individuals experienced some smoke inhalation, but no one was seriously injured, the release said.
“This could have had a much worse outcome,” Dan Smoot, law enforcement director of Operation UNITE. “Even though flames were coming from the home and the interior was quickly filling up with toxic smoke, these individuals refused to allow law enforcement officers to enter.”
Once the fire was extinguished, police obtained a search warrant. Numerous items used in the making of methamphetamine, including chemicals, were uncovered in the search, according to the release.
Officials were on the scene until about noon.