Bust finds active meth lab

Published 1:30 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A surveillance operation at a home in Poplarville brought about the arrest of three suspects.

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Donnie Saucier said the surveillance operation took place on a home at 422 McVay Dr.

Information provided to the department about the suspected manufacture of methamphetamine prompted the surveillance operation. During that operation the investigators and an off-duty Poplarville police officer observed Justin Wells, 24, of 422 McVay Dr., Shelby Blake Amaker, 24, of 956 Sones Chapel Rd., Poplarville and Lydia Ann Alexius, 20, of 532 Slade Woodward Rd., conducting suspicious activity in a shed behind the home.

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At one point during the surveillance, it appeared as though Wells was attempting to destroy evidence. Saucier said Wells’ actions were possibly spurred by his noticing the ongoing surveillance operation.

Investigators approached Wells and notified him of the reason for their presence. Based on the evidence collected during the surveillance and interviews conducted with Wells, the team was able to secure a search warrant for the home.

During the search the investigators found an active methamphetamine lab in the shed along with some precursor chemicals, including camp fuel, lye, sulfuric acid, ammonium nitrate and methamphetamine oil, which is a by product of the production process, Saucier said. Funnels and digital scales also were found in the shed.

In the home, the investigators found paraphernalia believed to have been used to smoke the drug, Saucier said.

DEA and a Hazmat teams were called to the scene to process and clean it. All three suspects were charged with manufacturing a controlled substance (methamphetamine).