CAHOKIA — Four people were arrested after police found what they described as the largest “shake and bake” meth labs ever uncovered in a home in the 400 block of West Fifth Street in Cahokia.

Ashli R. Crabtree, 27, of 400 W. Fifth St., Cahokia, was charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials.

Steven Blankenship, 32, of the same address, was charged with participation in methamphetamine and three counts of unlawful possession methamphetamine, and two counts of unlawful possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials. His bond is set at $250,000.

Also charged was James L. Thomas, 31, of 902 St. Matthews Drive, Cahokia, and Deana A. Sargent, 35, of 38 Circle Creek Lane, Cahokia. Thomas was charged with one count of participation in methamphetamine and one count of participating in methamphetamine manufacturing. His bond was set at $200,000. Sargent was charged with participation in methamphetamine and participation in methamphetamine manufacturing.

Police uncovered the meth labs on Monday when Cahokia police were called to the residence to look for some stolen merchandise.

“When they entered, the officers smelled a strong chemical odor and observed some items that appeared to be those used by individuals who set up meth labs,” Lt . Kurt Eversman, of the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Drug Tactical unit said.

St. Clair County sheriff’s Captain Steve Johnson said, “The smell was very intense and dangerous, too.”

“The situation created a possibility that an explosion might occur,” he said.

St. Clair County Sheriff’s Lt. Kurt Eversman said in all of the years that he’s worked in the sheriff’s drug unit, “this is the largest shake ‘n’ bake labs we’ve seen.”

Cahokia police alerted the sheriff’s department and they were joined by the Illinois State Police meth response team,” Eversman said.

Between 20-25 soda bottles, which total about 5,000 rams of meth, were located inside of the residence. Two individuals who were at the home were arrested. Several hours later, after conducting interviews, investigators developed “some additional information that led to two other arrests,” Eversman said.

The case was presented to the State’s Attorney’s office Wednesday for reviews and charges.

“This was a pretty large bust. These individuals were putting a lot of illegal drugs on the streets,” Johnson said.

Eversman said, “The drugs were not only destined for the streets of Cahokia, but in other communities, too. And, this drug house was right in the middle of the neighborhood where children were out playing in the street,” Eversman said.

  1. Justin Hail says:

    And every one of the names mentioned in this article snitched each other out, and they snitched out other people too. Tweekers talk. Tweekers tell on anyone to get out of being held accountable for what they did.

  2. Justin Hail says:

    Steven Blankenship is a fatass snitch. They sent him to protective custody at the child molester prison Big Muddy. Then they sent him to Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center where he can continue to snitch people out. Is I ever see Steven Blankenship on the streets I will smash his face with a crowbar.