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Friday, May 16, 2014

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - Officers with the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) on Friday, May 16 seized a methamphetamine laboratory that was being operated at a home on Timmerman Road near Swansea. Officers arrested a 27-year-old Swansea man on charges that the man operated the methamphetamine laboratory at the residence.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said NET officers arrested Edward Henry Hatchell, 27, of 123 Timmerman Road, Swansea, on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and unlawfully altering pseudoephedrine. Hatchell was being held on Friday at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting a bond hearing.

At about 2:42 a.m. on Friday, Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies went to Hatchell’s home in response to a call concerning a verbal argument about Hatchell manufacturing methamphetamine at the residence, Metts said. Deputies found Hatchell sitting on the front steps of his home. Deputies saw lithium batteries and other items near Hatchell that they recognized from training that they had received as items that are used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Deputies placed Hatchell in investigative detention, Metts said. Deputies found a two-liter bottle on a counter in the kitchen of Hatchell’s home that actively was being used as a reaction vessel to manufacture methamphetamine. Officers arrested Hatchell.

Deputies requested assistance from NET officers to further investigate the methamphetamine laboratory at Hatchell’s home, Metts said. NET officers dismantled and safely disposed of the reaction vessel that Hatchell used to manufacture methamphetamine at his home.

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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