Meth lab materials found in creek bed

Published 10:50 pm Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Law enforcement officials were tasked with cleaning up a meth lab dumping site this week.

Residents of the Tennille area alerted the Pike County Sheriff’s Department Sunday to their concerns about what appeared to be garbage items from a meth lab that had been dumped in a dry creek bed on County Road 4427.

Jerry Barr said the dumpsite was first noticed some time after noon on Thursday and reported to the Pike County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday morning.

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“When we realized that the materials dumped in the creek bed were probably the trash from items used to make crystal meth, we were concerned,” Barr said. “A lot of stuff that I couldn’t identify had been dumped, but then there were things I could identify — syringes and empty packets of cold and sinus medicines. Plastic bottles filled with different kinds of substances were all over the place. Animals could scatter that stuff everywhere and it could be harmful to the wildlife. If it came a big rain, all that stuff could be washed in the Pea River. We had reported it and we just couldn’t understand why somebody didn’t get it cleaned up.”

Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas said there was good reason.

“We didn’t want our vehicles seen out that way because we were working a case in that area,” Thomas said. “Tuesday morning, the Pike County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant and seized crack cocaine and marijuana at a Tennille residence.

“We were aware of the illegal dump site and that the items dumped might have come from a crystal meth lab, but our first priority was to shut down the crack house in the area. If sheriff’s vehicles had been seen out that way, we would not have been successful in shutting down the crack house because those involved would have been alerted that we were working the area.”

Thomas said clean-up of the dumpsite would be completed late Tuesday afternoon.

“We appreciate people letting us know about these illegal dump sites,” he said. “There are a lot of them around the county. To get them cleaned up, we’ve got to know where they are.”