July 18, 2013 Contact: Marian O'Briant
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sixteen separate meth labs found; five people in custody
Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong said today five people, including one juvenile, were taken into custody Wednesday night after Sheriff's deputies and narcotics agents located sixteen separate meth labs.
The four adults have not yet been formally charged, and are being held on investigation at the Blount County Detention Facility. A 17-year-old female is being held at the Blount County Juvenile Facility. Two other individuals are at large.
The Sheriff's Office received information of possible meth activity at a residence on Terry Way in Maryville at around 9 p.m. Wednesday. When deputies arrived at the residence, two individuals fled from the trailer on foot. A Sheriff's Office K-9 team tracked the individuals, but they were not located. Five people were taken into custody at the residence. Investigators with the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force arrived on the scene, and as the investigation progressed, investigators located fifteen separate "one pot" method meth labs, including one that was in the active stages of process. The Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force was called in to dispose of the hazardous waste. The Blount County Fire Department decontaminated the five individuals at the scene. As investigators were wrapping up their investigation, they located a sixteenth meth lab at another vacant trailer nearby.
This meth lab site is the result of the "cash for cooks" the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force is now offering for information that leads to the arrest of meth cooks in Blount County. The Drug Task Force started this program earlier this year along with the Blount Memorial Foundation and Community Outreach to help combat the increase in meth-related crimes in Blount County. A large billboard went up on the U.S. Highway 129 By-Pass in Alcoa, and another billboard is scheduled to go up on Cusick Street later this month. The graphic billboards promote the "cash for cooks" program. Anyone with information is asked to call the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force at 865-977- SANO (7266).
The Blount County Fire Department and Rural/Metro Ambulance Service also responded to the scene.
The Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force is comprised of deputies and officers with the Blount County Sheriff's Office, Maryville Police Department, and Alcoa Police Department. All Drug Task Force investigators are members of the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force.
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