Local, area agents make multiple meth lab busts

Published 10:27 pm Friday, July 10, 2009

Several agencies collaborated to move in and sweep three alleged methamphetamine labs this week.

Officers from the 4th Judicial Drug Task Force, Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Attorney General’s office and district attorney’s investigators aided in the arrests of Christy Anderson, 37; Blake Friday, 34; Kevin Prough, 40, and Brian McCormick, 30.

Anderson, Friday and McCormick were charged with manufacturing a controlled substance first-degree and Prough was charged with criminal conspiracy unlawful manufacture controlled substance.

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All four suspects were charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

The raid began Wednesday with the arrest of Anderson.

“Wednesday morning officers from several agencies arrested Christy Anderson,” Dallas County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Roy Freine said. “Precursors for making meth and evidence of meth already made were found in her residence on [U.S. Highway 80 West] and in a shed on the property.”

Anderson and the other three suspects’ arrests came about from an ongoing investigation by the agencies.

Friday was arrested at Anderson’s residence.

Authorities said the two suspects knew each other, but did not say if Friday was directly involved in the process of making meth.

Thursday night officers arrested Prough at his residence at 2906-D Angela Place.

“At Kevin Prough’s residence we recovered precursors to a meth lab,” Freine said. “He was arrested without incident. Actually, none of the suspects attempted to flee.”

Friday morning marked the last arrest in this series. Officers went to 1020 Kings Bend Road and picked up McCormick.

“Officers found all the ingredients to cook meth at Brian McCormick’s residence,” Freine said. “All of the meth labs were cleaned up by the Bibb County Sheriff’s Department and they will also store the evidence.”

Bibb County Sheriff’s Department cleaned up the labs because law requires an agency to be certified in disposing of methamphetamine labs and ingredients.

Freine explained that the ingredients of methamphetamine are very unstable and should not be touched by someone who does not have experience in the cleaning process.

“We can’t actually even store the materials in the courthouse,” Freine said. “We are very grateful for Bibb County’s help in cleaning and storing for us.”

The dangers of making methamphetamine are well known and was reiterated Monday when Bayou La Batre Police released surveillance video of a meth lab in a hotel room exploding. Three people have been arrested and one of the suspects, Carlton Parmer, suffered burns on 35 percent of his body.

Authorities stressed theses are the firsts arrests in a long and ongoing investigation.

“If you are using meth, making meth, selling meth or any other drug you need to move from Selma, Dallas County or the 4th Judicial Circuit,” 4th Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force Commander Larry Colston said. “We will find you, arrest you and then the district attorney’s office will prosecute you.”

District Attorney Michael Jackson can be seen in billboards around the 4th Judicial Circuit advertising his stance against meth.

“We are going to continue the crack down on drug dealers and drug manufacturers,” Jackson said.

Anderson and Friday were placed in the Dallas County Jail under bonds totaling $60,000 each. They made bond and were released.

Deputies placed Prough in the county jail under $20,000 bonds total. His bond for manufacturing a controlled substance first-degree was less due to the amount of ingredients he allegedly had in his possession at the time of arrest.

McCormick was placed in jail under bonds totaling $30,000. He posted bond and was released.

Officers said the methamphetamines on the streets today is not like the old form. The old meth lab took up a lot of space, but the new meth can be made in a small plastic bottle.

The method is called “shake and bake” because that is literally the process. A person only has to combine the ingredients in a certain order, shake the mixture up and then bake it off. The process means a quicker result without having to have a massive operation.

Officers ask citizens to report any suspected meth labs because their presence is a danger.

If anyone would like to report information regarding suspected meth labs, call the Drug Task Force at 874-2540 or 683-5001, Dallas County Sheriff’s Department at 874-2530, police secret witness line at 874-2190 or Crimestoppers at 877-3530.