A meth lab was discovered inside a Faison Highway residence Tuesday after agents received a complaint of possible drug activity at the home. One man has been arrested in connection with the lab, with additional charges anticipated as part of the ongoing investigation, authorities said.
Members of the Sampson County Sheriff’s Special Investigation Division (SID) responded to 735 Faison Hwy., Clinton, on Tuesday to investigate the drug complaint, discovering evidence consistent with those found in a meth lab and used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Luther Larson Pearson IV, 29, was inside the home with the items, which included pseudoephedrine, sulfuric acid, red phosphorus and anhydrous ammonia.
“Upon entry agents located a meth lab inside the residence and a white male in the living room,” Sheriff’s Lt. Marcus Smith said. “The male subject was detained and identified as Luther Pearson.”
Agents seized the property until a search warrant could be obtained, Smith said. Once the warrant was obtained and the home could be searched further, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation was called in to assist in dismantling the lab and cleaning up the hazardous materials.
“As a result the suspect was taken into custody and charged,” Smith noted of Pearson.
Pearson was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, three counts of possession and distributing meth precursor chemicals, storage of hazardous waste without a permit and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was placed under $150,000 secured bond and given a district court date of Aug. 14.
According to information from Smith, SID agents received a complaint of a possible meth lab at the residence Tuesday and responded to the home, located just outside the city limits on Faison Highway (N.C. 403), on Tuesday evening. Agents conducted a “knock and talk,” at which point the agents observed evidence that indicated the presence of a meth lab and made entry on the residence.
Tuesday’s lab dismantling was just the latest case of a tipster and the SID agents’ followup investigative work again yielding positive results. Just a few weeks ago, agents discovered nearly 200 marijuana plants growing in a wooded area behind Rowan Creek Lane, Clinton. The plants were 4 feet tall and had a street value of close to half a million dollars.
That finding as well as Tuesday’s lab discovery and arrest followed anonymous tips. Sheriff Jimmy Thornton touted the important role the community plays in removing drugs and other criminal elements off their own streets.
“We stay so preoccupied that we really don’t pay much attention to anything,” the sheriff said then, noting deputies were simply a call away. “I encourage everybody to call. Clearly, I could say that a large part of our success is because of the people in the communities keeping us abreast of what’s going on. It’s important to be active in everything.”
According to figures provided by the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, Tuesday’s meth lab brings the number of labs found in Sampson during 2015 to nine, the total amount the county had in all of 2014. Both are still a far cry from the 27 labs Sampson saw in 2013.
Smith said still more charges could come out of the Tuesday night’s meth lab seizure.
“The investigation is ongoing,” he said, “and further charges are expected.”
Reach staff writer Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.