Two people were arrested at the scene of one methamphetamine lab and a third person was arrested at the scene of another Wednesday, reported Major Doug Cotton of the Wilkes Sheriff’s Department.
Cotton said the sheriff’s department has found at least 10 meth labs in Wilkes since the discovery of one in Mountain View in October, including four this month.
All of these have been “one-pot” meth labs, which involve combining toxic ingredients for methamphetamine in one sealed container like a plastic soft drink bottle and flipping it over to cause a chemical reaction that creates meth.
“We think the number of people cooking meth has increased due to the ease of cooking it this way,” he said.
Although it produces meth in smaller quantities than labs using heat, it causes very strong pressure to build up in the container and can result in an explosion.
Wilkes Sheriff Chris Shew said that along with the growing number of these small meth labs in Wilkes, “the community has really gotten involved in helping us by reporting when they think meth is being made. We appreciate this and we want it to continue.”
Cotton said state probation officers requested that sheriff’s department officers accompany them to the home of Joseph Marshall Jordan, 31, on Arbor Grove Church Road in Roaring River after they received information about meth being made there.
Cotton, Det. Debbie Pennington and State Bureau of Investigation Agent Gene Parsons of the sheriff’s department, all meth lab certified, accompanied probation officers to the residence and knocked on the door about 10 a.m. Wednesday.
After Jordan gave officers permission to enter, said Cotton, they found an apparent “one-pot” meth lab – a 20-ounce plastic bottle containing ingredients for meth—“cooking” in the laundry room of the house.
After Det. Pennington and Parsons got a written search warrant from a superior court judge, he added, officers found evidence of trash from meth ingredients being burned in a wood stove in the home. Evidence of meth being made in two-liter plastic containers was found, said Cotton.
He said a woman identified as Jordan’s girlfriend, Bobbie Jo Combs, 30, also was at the residence. Ms. Combs’ two young children had been staying there but were gone when officers arrived, he said.
Jordan and Ms. Combs were arrested on one count each of manufacturing methamphetamine and maintaining a dwelling for manufacturing meth. Cotton said their probation was revoked and they were placed in jail with secured bonds of $200,000 each.
Cotton said he, Parsons, a federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent and a probation officer then went to the Evelyn Louis Peters home on Brook Valley Street, which is off Hensley Eller Road in the Meadowbrook subdivision about 4:30 p.m., due to information received about meth being made there also.
He said Ms. Peters at first said officers could enter her home but then withdrew this permission even though a probation officer said this would result in her probation being revoked.
Cotton said that after he went to Boone to get a search warrant from a superior court judge, officers found evidence of meth being made in three two-liter plastic bottles in the two-story, brick Peters home.
Ms. Peters was arrested on one count each of manufacturing meth and maintaining a dwelling for manufacturing meth. She was placed in jail with a $200,000 secured bond. Her probation was revoked.