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Traveling through

Polk arrests 2 in U-Haul with meth labs, guns

MILL SPRING—The Polk County Sheriff’s Office recently arrested 2 people traveling towards Polk County after not paying for gas in Forest City.

Zachary Barnes, 25, of Cayce, S.C. was arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine; possession of precursor materials; possession of methamphetamine; maintaining a vehicle for controlled substances; possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of stolen goods; possession of a weapon of mass destruction; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and carrying a concealed gun, according to sheriff reports.

Jennifer Thomas, 33, of Hopkins, S.C. was arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine; possession of precursor materials; possession of methamphetamine; maintaining a vehicle for controlled substances; possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of stolen goods; possession of a weapon of mass destruction and carrying a concealed gun, according to sheriff reports.

The arrest occurred on May 30 when deputies received a report of a U-Haul truck traveling towards Polk County after failing to pay for gas in Rutherford County. Polk County deputies located the truck turning off U.S. 74 onto Highway 9 and initiated a stop.

Reports are that deputies became immediately suspicious based on the driver and the passenger’s behavior and observed drug paraphernalia in the truck. Deputies searched the truck and found two firearms, including a sawed-off shotgun and 2 “one-pot” methamphetamine labs, according to sheriff reports.

Because of the hazardous materials in the methamphetamine labs, the truck was impounded and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation clandestine drug lab team was called in to dispose of the materials.

Barnes was issued a $95,000 secured bond. Barnes is also under a detainer hold out of South Carolina.

Thomas was issued an $80,000 bond.

“I am proud of my Deputies recognizing the potential dangers in this situation,” Polk County Sheriff Tim Wright said. “They acted promptly and as a team. Deputy Gillstrap, Deputy McDaniel, Deputy Johnson, and Deputy DeRosa exemplify the professional standards we strive for in serving and protecting our communities. From the initial stop at the notification from Rutherford County, to the clean-up with our investigators and the NC SBI this incident shows the dedication and teamwork our local law enforcement always practices.”