Four suspects were charged with the initiation of manufacturing methamphetamine Monday after they were found allegedly making the illegal drug, a Rutherford County Sheriff’s deputy reported.
Suspects Jake Proctor, 30, of East Lokey Avenue and Brett M. Brunas, 27, of Victory Gallup Lane, both of Murfreesboro, Madison S. Moore, 24, of Bell Buckle, and Steven R. Banks, 29, of Clarksville were charged by Deputy Jason Leathers.
Leathers was checking for trespassers Monday evening at the Elam Mill slab when he noticed four people. While checking on them, he found Proctor was wanted for theft, violation of probation and possession of drug paraphernalia. While patting him down, Leathers found a syringe in his pocket.
The deputy noticed a plastic bottle containing a white substance and notified narcotics Detective Curtis Brinkley to investigate.
Detective Brinkley determined the substance was an active illegal methamphetamine lab.
“It was in the cooking process,” Brinkley said, explaining it was a “shake and bake” method of making illegal methamphetamine in a soft drink bottle. “It’s rare to come across a cooking when we get there. Most of the time we see it when it’s trashed.”
Narcotics Detective Sgt. Tony Hall said meth producers using the method commonly trash the plastic bottle on the side of a road. People who find a 1-liter or 20-ounce bottle containing a white substance and tubing are asked not to touch the materials and call local law enforcement officers to respond.
Detective Brinkley said the discarded meth labs are dangerous because it is potentially flammable and hazardous.
All but one of the Sheriff’s Office’s narcotics detectives are certified technicians with the Tennessee Methamphetamine and Pharmaceutical Task Force. Technicians neutralize the components of the drug, dismantle it and assist with packaging the materials for the driver with the containment system.
Detective Brinkley dismantled the methamphetamine and packaged it for safe disposal.
The suspects were booked into Rutherford County Adult Detention. A hearing on their charges is set Sept. 30 in General Sessions Court.