OFFICERS SEIZE METHAMPHETAMINE LABORATORY
LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - Officers with the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) on Sunday, September 1 seized a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory outside a room at a motel on Burning Tree Drive near Irmo. Officers arrested a 31-year-old Lexington man, 31-year-old Fair Play man, 41-year-old Greer man and 45-year-old Woodruff man on charges that the four men operated the methamphetamine laboratory that officers found outside the motel room that the four men occupied.
Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said NET officers arrested Michael Wayne Anderson, Jr., 31, of 140 Flora Drive, Lexington; Charles Daniel Barker, 31, of 227 Shore Road, Fair Play; Paul Scott Kelley, 41, of 83 Griffith Creek Drive, Greer; and Christopher Carl Ruppe, 45, of 132 Racetrack Road, Woodruff, on a charge of manufacturing methamphetamine. Anderson, Barker, Kelley and Ruppe each were being held on Tuesday, September 3 at the Lexington County Detention Center on bail totaling $15,000 each.
At about 11:09 p.m. on Sunday, Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies went to a Motel 6 at 1776 Burning Tree Drive in order to investigate information that a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory was being operated at a room at the motel, Metts said. Deputies went to the room at the motel and found Anderson standing by a trash can outside the room.
Deputies entered the motel room and found items in the room that they recognized from training that they had received as an indication that a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory had been operated in the room, Metts said. The items that deputies found in the room included packets of pseudoephedrine pills that had been crushed and one bottle of drain cleaner.
Deputies found a black backpack on top of the trash can outside the motel room that contained a reaction vessel, which actively was being used to manufacture methamphetamine, Metts said. Deputies requested assistance from NET officers in order to further investigate the clandestine methamphetamine laboratory.
NET officers went to the motel room and determined that the reaction vessel found outside the room was being used to manufacture methamphetamine, Metts said. Officers arrested Anderson, Barker, Kelley and Ruppe, whom officers found at the motel room. Officers dismantled and safely disposed of the reaction vessel that was used to manufacture methamphetamine.
Metts asked anyone with information about illegal drug activity in Lexington County to call the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Citizens also can provide information anonymously by accessing the Crime Tip link on the Sheriff’s Department web site (www.lexingtonsheriff.com).
NET is comprised of officers from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Batesburg-Leesville Police Department and Lexington Police Department, Metts said. The sheriff and municipal police chiefs implemented NET in 2001 in order to enhance drug enforcement in Lexington County.
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