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

Officers Seize Methamphetamine Laboratories at Three Homes


In separate investigations, officers with the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) seized methamphetamine laboratories that were being operated at one home on West Second Street in Swansea, one home on Catherine Drive near Pelion and one home on Broad Street near Leesville. Officers arrested three men and two women in connection with methamphetamine laboratories that officers found at the three homes.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said NET officers arrested Brad Joseph Koon, Sr., 44, of 702 West Second Street, Swansea, on Sunday, February 23 on a charge of manufacturing methamphetamine in connection with the operation of a methamphetamine laboratory that officers found in an abandoned home adjacent to Koon’s home. Koon was being held on Tuesday, February 25 at the Lexington County Detention Center on a $15,000 bond.

Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies went to Koon’s home at about 8:07 a.m. on Sunday in order to investigate a verbal dispute involving Koon and his wife, Metts said. Deputies found a black duffel bag in the abandoned home near Koon’s residence and determined that the bag contained a reaction vessel, which was being used to manufacture methamphetamine. Deputies requested help from NET officers to further investigate the methamphetamine laboratory. NET officers arrested Koon and safely disposed of the methamphetamine laboratory.

In a separate investigation, NET officers arrested Taylor Michele Hatchell, 24, and James Elliott Smith, Jr., 31, both of 168 Catherine Drive, Pelion, in connection with a methamphetamine laboratory that was being operated outside the home where they live, Metts said.

Officers arrested Hatchell on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, possessing methamphetamine, unlawfully altering pseudoephedrine and unlawfully disposing of waste from a methamphetamine laboratory, Metts said. Officers arrested Smith on charges of second-offense manufacturing methamphetamine, second-offense possessing methamphetamine, unlawfully altering pseudoephedrine and unlawfully disposing of waste from a methamphetamine laboratory. Hatchell was being held on Tuesday at the county Detention Center on bail totaling $50,000. Smith was being held on Tuesday at the county Detention Center on bail totaling $70,000.

Deputies went to the Catherine Drive home at about 8:58 a.m. on Sunday in order to help the South Carolina Highway Patrol investigate a motor vehicle collision, Metts said. Deputies and state troopers found one plastic soda bottle in a large plastic box outside the home that was being used as a reaction vessel to manufacture methamphetamine. Deputies requested assistance from NET officers to further investigate the methamphetamine laboratory. NET officers arrested Hatchell and Smith and safely disposed of the methamphetamine laboratory.

NET officers arrested Diane Poole Gay, 54, and Ronnie Dale Stevenson, 52, both of 1450 Broad Street, Lot D, Leesville, in connection with a methamphetamine laboratory that was found outside their home, Metts said. Officers arrested Gay and Stevenson on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, possessing methamphetamine, unlawfully altering pseudoephedrine and unlawfully disposing of waste from a methamphetamine laboratory. Gay and Stevenson were being held on Tuesday at the county Detention Center on bail totaling $50,000 each.

Deputies went to the Broad Street home at about 3:53 p.m. on Sunday in order to investigate a verbal dispute involving Gay and Stevenson, Metts said. Deputies found several plastic soda bottles in woods outside the home that were being used as reaction vessels to manufacture methamphetamine. Deputies requested assistance from NET officers to further investigate the methamphetamine laboratory. NET officers later arrested Gay and Stevenson and safely disposed of the methamphetamine laboratory.

NET is comprised of officers from the 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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