Two arrested in meth lab found at Alcoa motel
By Wes Wade | (email@example.com)
Two Maryville men were arrested Friday afternoon following the discovery of meth lab components at an Alcoa motel.
Michael Aaron Bishop, 28, Old Piney Road, and Jeremy Dale Robinson, 30, Euclair Drive, were charged with initiating the manufacture of methamphetamine. Both were being held in lieu of $50,000 bond pending a hearing Wednesday in Blount County General Sessions Court. Robinson was also charged with two counts of violation of probation granted after misdemeanor convictions. Authorities said Bishop was released from the Blount County Detention Facility on Wednesday on prior drug charges.
Investigators with the 5th Judicial Drug Task Force responded to the Executive Lodge, 215 S. Hall Road, to investigate a possible meth lab in one of the rooms, according to a Blount County Sheriff’s Office news release.
Materials consistent with an older “one pot” meth lab were located inside a backpack, authorities said, and it appeared the components were used to produce meth very recently at another location.
Management at the motel said one of the men had been dropped off by his grandmother on Thursday and had been staying in room 116 since that time. They said they had just cleaned the room Friday morning and, at the time, there were no suspicious materials inside the unit.
“It is surprising,” said a manager who’s helped operate the lodge for the past 12 years. “It’s never happened before.”
Management said the motel has some 20 rooms and, as of Friday evening, was at 85 percent occupancy.
“We are surprised,” said another manager. “We’ve never had this problem before, and I’ve been here for 18 years.”
They said it appeared that authorities received a tip concerning the possibility of a meth lab inside the room as there appeared to be no evidence of a meth lab operation up until authorities arrived. They said investigators had called earlier in the day to ask who was staying in the room.
The components of the lab were inventoried and the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force responded to dispose of the items.
The Alcoa Fire and Police departments, as well as Rural/Metro Ambulance Service, also responded. Alcoa Fire Lt. Steven Owen said firefighters were notified of the incident at 2:50 p.m. and sent two trucks and four firefighters to the scene. They remained at the motel in a standby capacity for an hour to assist in the event a flash fire broke out, Owen said.