3rd meth lab found in Carter County


Photo By Rick Harris
Busted: A Drug Enforcement Agent tests material from a suspected rolling drug lab found in the little Milligan area.

By Kathy Helms-Hughes
STAR STAFF
khelms@starhq.com
Carter County Sheriff's Department deputies have discovered yet another methamphetamine laboratory in the county, bringing to three the number found since Saturday.
According to Deputy Dean Jones, a 1985 Dodge Ram pickup was found abandoned Thursday at the intersection of Smith Hollow and U.S. Highway 321, near Elk Mills Elementary School.
Jones said a male subject pulled the truck down the hill into the yard of nearby residents on Wednesday, telling the residents that he had gotten wrong directions. When the Dodge Ram became stuck in the yard, the man asked to use the telephone to call his wife to come pick him up, saying he would come back later for the truck. He failed to return and Thursday morning residents called a wrecker to have the vehicle towed.
According to Jones, when the wrecker driver arrived, he called in the tag and traced it to a business owner on the Milligan Highway. There also was another tag in the truck which was registered to a Johnson City man.
Residents also found a wallet belonging to an Ohio man in the driveway and took it down to the sheriff's department.
When Deputy Jones went to the scene to try to find further information, he discovered a duffle bag in the back of the pickup. Jones opened the bag to search for identification and found the contents of a rolling meth lab.
Members of the First Judicial District Drug Task Force and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration were notified and a hazardous materials team was called to the scene. Carter County Rescue Squad and Elk Mills Volunteer Fire Department were put on standby in the event of an explosion.
Cleanup was estimated at about $6,000. The vehicle was taken to be destroyed.
A meth lab was found Saturday at a home on Roaring Creek in Roan Mountain, and another on Monday on Old Railroad Grade, also in Roan Mountain. Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies and DTF agents also discovered a meth lab Tuesday on Dean Archer Road in Jonesborough. Investigation is continuing.