PLAIN VIEW — A new week in Sampson County has brought with it another methamphetamine-related bust, carrying over last week’s theme that saw five people arrested by sheriff’s drug agents in separate incidents involving a lab and trafficking of the drug.
On Tuesday, agents with the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division received a tip of a meth lab at 184 Rock Hollow Lane, Dunn. The agents responded to the scene and observed a small fire burning, containing meth lab waste, as well as two suspects. The two suspects were detained and the property owner was contacted, at which point agents received consent to search the property.
During that search agents located items “consistent with manufacturing methamphetamines,” authorities said.
Jeffery Lynn Horne, 30, and Jennifer Lee Gregory, 24, both of 193 Rock Hollow Lane, Dunn, were taken into custody in connection with the lab. Both were arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, two counts of possession of precursor chemicals, littering hazardous waste and storage of hazardous waste without a permit.
The two were using the neighboring home as a meth kitchen, sheriff’s officials noted.
“The house was vacant and they were using it as a location to cook,” Sheriff’s Lt. Marcus Smith said.
Monday’s bust by SID follows two other successful meth-related investigations by the division last week, a meth lab discovery on Aug. 11 and meth trafficking arrests in a separate incident two days later, on Aug. 13. In the latter, 3 pounds of meth was seized, said by sheriff’s officials to be the largest single meth bust the county has ever seen.
Agents with SID and Fayetteville Police Department conducted a search warrant at 4635 U.S. 421 North in that multi-county investigation, yielding the 3 pounds of packaged meth having a street value of over $200,000, as well as a firearm. As a result of the investigation, two Sampson residents and a 15-year-old male suspect were taken into custody on meth trafficking charges.
Just days earlier, a drug complaint concerning 735 Faison Hwy., Clinton, netted the discovering of meth lab components, including pseudoephedrine, sulfuric acid, red phosphorus and anhydrous ammonia. Agents seized the property until a search warrant could be obtained and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation was called in to assist in dismantling the lab and cleaning up the hazardous materials.
One man was arrested at that time, and a second suspect was taken into custody in connection with the Faison Highway (N.C. 403) Friday. The two men were served meth manufacturing charges as well as a slew of other drug-related felonies, along with a felony count related to the theft of a motorcycle.
That lab was the ninth dismantled in Sampson this year — as many as there were in all of 2014. Monday’s makes 10, already surpassing last year’s number with still four and a half months to go in 2015. There were 27 labs in Sampson during 2013.
Horne and Gregory were each placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under $75,000 secured bond. The case is still under investigation with more arrests are expected.
As with last week’s lab, which came after an anonymous drug complaint and a “knock and talk” by SID agents, Sheriff Jimmy Thornton similarly credited tips from the public that were able to shut down another illegal operation.
“I would like to thank the citizens of Sampson County for being proactive and reporting suspicious activity to our officers,” Thornton stated. “This open line of communication with our citizens proves that we have a strong working relationship with our community and that together we can continue to combat drug dealers.”