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Sheriff James R. Metts

Major John Allard, PIO Office, 785-2415, 24-Hour Press Box: 799-2001, Ext. 1100

Officers Seize Methamphetamine Laboratory in Motel Room

Officers with the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) on Monday, July 15 seized a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory that was being operated in a room at a motel on Augusta Road near West Columbia. Officers arrested a 51-year-old West Columbia man and 23-year-old West Columbia man on charges that the two men were operating the methamphetamine laboratory that officers found at the motel room.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said NET officers arrested Ernest Lee Watts, Jr., 51, of 100 Darby Street, West Columbia, and Scott Gregory Wolfe, Jr., 23, of 112 Bonnie Street, West Columbia, on a charge of manufacturing methamphetamine. Watts and Wolfe were being held on Monday at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting bond hearings.

An employee at the Delta Motel at 2426 Augusta Road told Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies at about 8:45 a.m. on Monday that a strong chemical odor was emanating from Room 18 at the motel, Metts said. Deputies went to the motel room and found a strong chemical odor that they recognized from training that they had received as an indication that a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory was being operated in the room.

Deputies placed Watts, who was in the motel room, in investigative detention and requested assistance from NET officers in further investigating the clandestine methamphetamine laboratory that deputies found at the motel room, Metts said. Wolfe later drove up to the motel and walked towards Room 18 at the motel. Officers placed Wolfe in investigative detention.

NET officers executed a search warrant at the motel room and found one bottle that actively was being used as a reaction vessel to manufacture methamphetamine, Metts said. Officers arrested Watts and Wolfe on the charge of manufacturing methamphetamine.

NET officers dismantled the clandestine methamphetamine laboratory that had been set up in the motel room and safely removed all items that were associated with the methamphetamine laboratory, Metts said.

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 (

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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