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Mobile meth lab pulled over, suspects arrested

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department investigators arrested two suspects early Thursday morning for operating a mobile methamphetamine lab in the back of their truck.

Two weeks of investigation paid off Thursday morning when officers with the department made a stop on Restertown Road near Poplarville, said Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Donnie Saucier. The stop was made at 4:45 a.m. where officers believe they found an operating methamphetamine lab, cooking the alleged drug in a plastic bottle in the truck bed while the vehicle was in motion.

A search of the truck also turned up several precursor chemicals used in the narcotics’ manufacture, Saucier said. During the traffic stop officers also found two packages of the finished product, adding up to about a gram worth.

The suspects were identified as Willys R. Garcia, 27, and Heather Goff, 18, both of 912 Barth Rd., Poplarville, Saucier said.

The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics was notified and came out to assist. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration also came out to clean the area of any hazardous chemicals.

Saucier said the lab had most of the necessary components needed, but there were a few things missing for a complete lab.

While officers didn’t notice smoke emanating from the back of the truck while it was in motion, once the vehicle stopped officers saw smoke coming from where some of the drug was cooking.

An investigation is ongoing into the incident.

“Because of the arrest (that) does not mean the investigation stops here, this will be a continuing investigation,” Saucier said.

Both suspects have been charged with possession of precursor chemicals with intent to manufacture methamphetamine and felony possession of methamphetamine. Saucier said the charge for possession of the chemicals could bring a sentence of up to 30 years if convicted.

Saucier asks anyone with information concerning drug use or sale to contact him at the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Investigation Division at 601-403-2515.