Officers Seize Methamphetamine Laboratory
Officers with the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) on Friday, September 20 seized a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory that was being operated at a home on Kensington Court near West Columbia. Officers seized about eight grams of methamphetamine and arrested two men and two women on charges that the four persons operated six reaction vessels that actively were being used to manufacture methamphetamine.
Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said NET officers arrested Tonya Marie Holland, 31, of 121 Kensington Court, West Columbia; Eddie Mart Jordan, 49, of 121 Kensington Court, West Columbia; Kayla Elizabeth Mattoni, 31, of 2830 Oakwood Drive, Unit 6, West Columbia; and Paul Edward Worrell, Jr., 38, of 121 Kensington Court, West Columbia.
NET officers arrested Jordan and Mattoni on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it, Metts said. Officers arrested Holland and Worrell on a charge of manufacturing methamphetamine. Holland, Jordan, Mattoni and Worrell each were being held on Saturday, September 21 at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting bond hearings.
At about 8:14 a.m. on Friday, Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies went to 121 Kensington Court in order to investigate information that a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory was being operated at the residence, Metts said. Deputies detected a strong chemical odor emanating from the home and saw white smoke flowing from a bedroom window at the rear of the home. Deputies recognized from training that they had received that the chemical odor and smoke indicated that a methamphetamine laboratory was being operated at the residence.
Deputies removed all persons from the home in order to ensure their safety, Metts said. Deputies found one purple plastic container that was being used as a reaction vessel to manufacture methamphetamine in a carport that had been converted into a bedroom. An electric box fan was being used to blow smoke from the reaction vessel out of the bedroom’s window.
Deputies requested assistance from NET officers to further investigate the clandestine methamphetamine laboratory that was being operated at the Kensington Court home, Metts said.
After they executed a search warrant at the Kensington Court home, NET officers found five additional reaction vessels that actively were being used to manufacture methamphetamine, Metts said. Lexington County Fire Service firefighters who are trained to decontaminate persons who are exposed to hazardous materials conducted a decontamination process outside the home for persons who were exposed to the reaction vessels that were being used to manufacture methamphetamine inside the home.
NET officers arrested Holland, Jordan, Mattoni and Worrell, Metts said. Due to the large number of reaction vessels that officers found at the Kensington Court home, officers contacted the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and requested that a company that has a contract with SLED safely dismantle and dispose of the six reaction vessels that were being used to manufacture methamphetamine at the residence.
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 (www.lexingtonsheriff.com).
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.