Blount County Sheriff’s Office locates 16 meth labs; 5 arrested
By Wes Wade | (email@example.com)
Five people, including a juvenile, were taken into custody Wednesday night after Blount County Sheriff’s Office deputies and narcotics agents located 16 meth labs, Blount County Sheriff James Berrong said Thursday.
Catherine Ann Cole, 24, Mentor Road, Louisville; Mitsue Anne Gilbert Eichin, 32, St. Ives Boulevard, Maryville; and Sarah Diane Herrell, 34, U.S. 411 South, Maryville, were all arrested on charges of criminal conspiracy and promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Both Eichin and Herrell were being held in lieu of $15,000 bond pending 1:30 p.m. Wednesday hearings in Blount County General Sessions Court.
Cole, who was also served with a warrant for contempt of court, was being held in lieu of $60,282 bond pending 9 a.m. Monday and 1:30 p.m. Wednesday hearings in Blount County General Sessions Court.
Shawn Edward Tucker, 23, Terry Way, Friendsville, who lives at the residence where the bust occurred, was arrested on charges of criminal conspiracy, promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine, maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of selling controlled substances and two counts of violation of probation granted after misdemeanor convictions. He was being held without bond pending a 1:30 p.m. Wednesday hearing in Blount County General Sessions Court.
A 17-year-old girl was also arrested and was being held at the Blount County Juvenile Detention Facility.
Two other individuals were still at large Thursday evening. The Sheriff’s Office received information of possible meth activity at a residence on Terry Way in Maryville at around 9 p.m. Wednesday. When deputies arrived at the residence, two individuals fled from the trailer on foot.
A Sheriff’s Office K-9 team tracked the individuals, but authorities were unable to locate them.
Five people at the residence were then taken into custody. Investigators with the 5th Judicial Drug Task Force arrived on the scene, and as the investigation progressed, investigators located 16 “one pot” method meth labs, including one that was in the active stages of process.
The Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force was called in to dispose of the hazardous waste. The Blount County Fire Department decontaminated the five individuals at the scene.
As investigators were wrapping up their initial investigation, they located a another meth lab at another vacant trailer nearby, bringing the total number of meth labs found to 16.
‘Cash for cooks’
This meth lab site discovery is the result of the “Cash for Cooks” program which the 5th Judicial Drug Task Force is now offering for information leading to the arrest of meth cooks in Blount County.
The Drug Task Force started this program earlier this year along with the Blount Memorial Foundation and Community Outreach to help combat the increase in meth-related crimes in Blount County.
A billboard message was placed along the U.S. 129 Bypass in Alcoa, and another billboard message is scheduled to go up on Cusick Street later this month. The graphic billboards promote the “cash for cooks” program.
Anyone with information is asked to call the 5th Judicial Drug Task Force at 865-977-SANO (7266). Rural/Metro Ambulance Service also responded to the scene.