Man arrested in meth lab bust

By Abby Morris
Star Staff

   A man arrested in Washington County on Friday on narcotics charges also faces charges from the Elizabethton Police Department in connection with the January burglary of a local business in which more than $20,000 in property was stolen.
   Steven Lunceford, 33, 3643 Cherokee Road, Jonesborough, was arrested by Washington County Sheriff's Department officers after they served him with a warrant charging him with violation of probation at his residence. According to information released by Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal, officers and agents "immediately discovered an operational methamphetamine lab" in the home.
   At that time, Lunceford was charged with manufacturing Schedule II narcotics, possession of Schedule II narcotics for resale and possession of drug paraphernalia. Two other individuals were arrested at that time and also charged with narcotics violations.
   According to a report released by the Elizabethton Police Department, members of the Criminal Investigations Division conducted a consensual search of Lunceford's property on Friday and located a large assortment of tools at the residence which were later identified as property from the robbery of Davis Converters in Elizabethton that occurred on January 14 of this year.
   Evidence from the residence in Jonesborough lead detectives to a North Carolina residence later that day. "Members of the EPD/CID and the Carter County Sheriff's Department Criminal Investigations recovered a motor cycle, a welder, two chop saws and a 5,000 pound floor jack from a residence in Vilas, N.C., that were part of the stolen property from the Davis Converter burglary," the report states.
   On Wednesday, officers of the Unicoi County Sheriff's Department located and recovered a Polaris all-terrain vehicle which was also taken in that burglary.
   "Currently charges of burglary and theft of property over $10,000 are pending on Steve Lunceford," according to the report from the Elizabethton Police Department. "The investigation is continuing with other arrests and property recovery expected."
   Several motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and tools were stolen from Davis Converters, located in the old Bemberg Plant building behind Wal-Mart on West Elk Avenue during the burglary.
   David King reported to Elizabethton Police Department PTL Mike Sproviero that sometime between 6 p.m. on January 13 and the early morning hours of January 14, someone entered the property and stole the items.
   Entry was gained to the building by removing a portion of the fence at the rear of the Bemberg property, which is owned by Charles Voncannon, the reports states. After entering the fenced-in area, perpetrators then took a sixteen-foot-long trailer that was parked inside the fence and pulled it up to the entrance of the building.
   The individuals used a saw to cut a hole in the wooden door of the building so that it could be opened. Once entry was made, several motorcycles, ATVs and tools were loaded onto the trailer. The perpetrators then took the stolen items and left through the hole they had created in the fence, according to reports.
   At least seven people had their property stolen from the Davis Converters building.