Arrests made in McKoy St. meth lab bust

By: By Chris Berendt -

Three people have been arrested on meth-related charges following an investigation into a drug complaint at a McKoy residence. This is the second time in the past year that a lab has been located at the residence, Sampson County Sheriff’s authorities said.

Agents with the Sheriff’s Special Investigations Division (SID) investigated a drug complaint at 324 McKoy St. in Clinton, near the intersection of Johnson Street, at about 9 p.m. Friday. They responded to the residence to speak with the occupants and, upon approaching, noticed “in plain view evidence constant with meth manufacturing,” sheriff’s officials said in a statement.

Agents entered the residence and took the occupants into custody. A subsequent search revealed items consistent with meth manufacturing, including the suspect drug itself along with an unknown liquid. The area was cordoned off and monitored into the night Friday and well into the day Saturday. Investigators said all of the items seized have been sent to the state lab for testing.

Charged in connection with the discovery of the lab were Matthew Alexander Holland, 41, of 324 McKoy St., Clinton; Amanda Lynn Thornton, 47, of 96 Denton Ave., Clinton; and Amanda Dawn Bell, 39, of 3921 Roanoke Road, Newton Grove. All were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine; two counts of possession with intent to manufacture precursor to meth; four counts of possession and distribution of meth precursors; possession of meth; and possession of drug paraphernalia

Additionally, Holland and Bell were each charged with maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance, reports indicate. Bell was also charged with simple possession of a Schedule III and a Schedule IV controlled substance, authorities said. Her arrest report indicates that two dosage units of Xanax and four dosage units of Suboxone were seized.

Thornton and Holland were placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under $275,000 secured bond apiece. Bell was jailed under $300,000 secured bond.

“This is the second time in less than a year a meth lab has been located at this residence,” Lt. Marcus Smith stated. “The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.”

According to prior reports, three people were arrested in connection with a meth lab on McKoy Street in November 2016. While the address was listed as a neighboring one in the 200 block of McKoy Street at the time, Smith said that report by sheriff’s authorities at the time was erroneous and it was, in fact, the 324 McKoy St. address that was subject to the bust.

In that bust, which took place on a Friday and carried over well into the day Saturday — as the one this past weekend did — a man from Kings Pond Lane, Clinton, a man listed of Sir Lane, Roseboro, and a woman listed of West Arrowhead Drive, Clinton, were charged with the plethora of drug-related felonies related to meth. The two men additionally received meth trafficking charges the following month after state lab results revealed that 196 grams of meth — nearly 7 ounces — were seized in the case.

In that November 2016 case, at approximately 11 p.m. Nov. 4, SID approached the McKoy Street to arrest a wanted person staying at the address and talk with residents regarding drug allegations. Investigators had been investigating suspects involved with the manufacturing of methamphetamine. SID agents were reportedly able to detect evidence of meth making as they knocked on the door of the McKoy Street address. Agents subsequently entered and located items consistent with manufacturing methamphetamine and those items were disposed of by teams outfitted in hazmat suits.

Smith said he was not going to speculate on any potential connections to the two labs and declined to offer additional details “since the case is ongoing.”



Lab second at home in last year

By Chris Berendt