Live meth lab busted in Green CreekPublished 7:37pm Friday, January 10, 2014
by Leah Justice
Polk County narcotics officers visited a Green Creek home on Thursday, Jan. 9 to follow up on an investigation and discovered the residents inside cooking methamphetamine.
Inside the residence of 315 Scoggins Road, Green Creek, officers found an actively working lab of methamphetamine as well as approximately 15 old methamphetamine labs referred to as one-pot, or shake-and-bake labs.
“This is the largest methamphetamine lab operation that has been found in the county in recent years, possibly one of the largest in county history,” said a press release from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office arrested two men during its investigation.
Billy Lawrence Carr, 38, was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession/distribute meth precursor, maintaining a vehicle/dwelling/place for a controlled substance, possession with intent to manufacture/sell/deliver methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to sheriff reports.
Harold Dean Bailey, 50, was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession/distribute meth precursor and fictitious information to officer, according to sheriff reports.
Officers said besides the active one-pot lab there was also an active hydrogen chloride (HCL) gas generator that was smoking.
Once officers discovered the active lab, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) was called to clean up and make all the evidence safe to handle. The SBI also called in its chemist to test the lab chemicals, officers said.
The Green Creek Fire Department assisted with the decontamination process.
Polk County Sheriff Donald Hill said he appreciates the fire department’s assistance, which helped ensure his personnel’s safety because of the high amount of danger associated with working meth labs, particularly an active meth lab.
“This is a great example of law enforcement agencies working together,” Hill said. “I appreciate all the agencies involved including the Green Creek Fire Department for their time and help making Polk County a safer place to live.”
The total discovered at the residence could have produced at least $5,000 (street value) worth of methamphetamine. A one-pot lab produced in a 20-ounce bottle yields about $360 in street value of methamphetamine, according to the sheriff’s office.
Some of the bottles found in the Green Creek residence were two-liter bottles, officers said, so those would have yielded more than $360 per bottle. Street value of methamphetamine is estimated from $80-$100 per gram.
This lab was the second meth lab discovered by the sheriff’s office already this year as officers found a meth lab dumpsite on John Weaver Road, also in Green Creek, on Jan. 1. That lab also was described as a one-pot, or shake and bake lab. Evidence at the dumpsite included one HCL generator and one two-liter bottle used to cook meth. The SBI and the sheriff’s office are still investigating that case with no arrests yet made.
There was one meth lab discovered last year in Tryon and 10 meth labs discovered in Polk County in 2012.
Carr was given a $30,000 secured bond and was still being held at the Polk County Jail as of Friday, Jan. 10, according to sheriff reports.
Bailey was given a $25,000 secured bond and was being held in the Polk County Jail as of Friday, Jan. 10, according to the sheriff’s office.