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Two charged with operating meth laboratory

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Officers with the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) on Friday, December 6 seized a methamphetamine laboratory at a home on Bridgewater Road near Batesburg.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said NET officers arrested Denise Nichole Jones, 24, of Batesburg, and Richard Allen Lybrand, 30, of Gilbert, on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and unlawfully disposing of waste from a methamphetamine laboratory.

Lexington County Sheriff's Department deputies received information on Friday that a methamphetamine laboratory was being operated at a home at 831 Bridgewater Road, Metts said. Deputies went to the home at about 6:28 p.m. on Friday and detected a strong chemical odor inside the residence that they recognized from training that they had received as an indication that a methamphetamine laboratory was being operated inside the home.

Deputies found that a white powder was stored in several containers inside the Bridgewater Road home and found that a red substance was stored in another container in which a hose had been placed inside the container, Metts said. Deputies requested assistance from NET officers to further investigate the situation.

NET officers determined that a methamphetamine laboratory was being operated at the Bridgewater Road home, Metts said. Officers arrested Jones and Lybrand at the home on charges that Jones and Lybrand operated the methamphetamine laboratory.

Jones was being held on Monday, December 9 at the Lexington County Detention Center on bail totaling $20,000. Lybrand was released from the county Detention Center on Saturday, December 7 after Lybrand posted bail totaling $20,000.

Metts asked anyone with information about illegal drug activity in Lexington County to call the Lexington County Sheriff's Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Citizens also can provide information anonymously by accessing the Crime Tip link on the Sheriff's Department web site (www.lexingtonsheriff.com).

NET is comprised of officers from the Lexington County Sheriff's Department, Batesburg-Leesville Police Department and Lexington Police Department, Metts said. The sheriff and municipal police chiefs implemented NET in 2001 in order to enhance drug enforcement in Lexington County.

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