Bond set for suspects in Lexington meth lab bust - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Bond set for suspects in Lexington meth lab bust

(Swansea) July 6, 2002 - Lexington deputies have raided a home twice on Golden Leaf Lane, just off Highway 6 near Swansea, and found a working methamphetamine lab.

The faces are familiar suspects. Joseph Homer Wise, Jerry Bradford Wise, Barbara Joyce Cook, Ashley Shay Cook, and Ryan Franklin McCracken were arrested on the scene. Deputies say the suspects are connected to another man, George Beauford "Buddy" Tindal, who is already in jail for allegedly running several meth labs.

With the exception of McCracken, all of the suspects arrested this week are being held on $250,000 bond.  McCracken's bond is set a $75,000.

The suspects will have to post the full amount in cash or property. The sheriff's department wanted the higher bonds to prevent the operation from starting agian.

Law officials say this is the second time three of the five have been arrested at the Golden Leaf Lane location, and all were out on bond. Officials say they executed a search warrant at the same location about three months ago, found a meth lab, and then made arrests.

Deputies say they recovered about one pound worth of methamphetamines, worth about $36,000 in March.

Bond hearings will be held Friday for all five.

Lexington County Assistant Sheriff Tim James says numerous meth labs have been found around the county, "This is one of 15 methamphetamine labs that have been found within a year's time of intense investigation."

Domestic methamphetamine production, trafficking, and abuse are concentrated in the western, southwestern, and midwestern United States. Methamphetamine is also increasingly available in portions of the South and eastern United States, especially Georgia and Florida. Clandestine laboratories in California and Mexico are the primary sources of supply for methamphetamine available in the United States.

Over the last decade, the methamphetamine trafficking and abuse situation in the United States changed dramatically. In 1994, ethnic Mexican drug trafficking organizations operating "super labs" (laboratories capable of producing in excess of 10 pounds of methamphetamine in one 24-hour production cycle) based in Mexico and in California began to take control of the production and distribution of methamphetamine domestically.

Independent laboratory operators, including outlaw motorcycle gangs, previously maintained control of methamphetamine production and distribution within the United States, and continue to operate today on a lesser scale. The entry of ethnic Mexican traffickers into the methamphetamine trade in the mid-1990s resulted in a significant increase in the supply of the drug.

The supply of methamphetamine in the United States also stems from multiple small-scale laboratories, often operated by independent cooks who obtain the ingredients necessary for manufacture from retail and convenience stores. Methamphetamine produced in these "mom-and-pop" laboratories is generally for personal use or limited distribution.

A clandestine laboratory operator can use relatively common items, such as mason jars, coffee filters, hot plates, pressure cookers, pillowcases, plastic tubing, and gas cans to substitute for sophisticated laboratory equipment. The growing use of the Internet, which provides access to methamphetamine "recipes," coupled with increased demand for high-purity product, has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of mom-and-pop laboratories throughout the United States.

The number of labs with capacities under ten pounds totaled over 7,700 in 2001.

Methamphetamine prices vary throughout different regions of the United States. At the distribution level, prices range from $3,500 per pound in parts of California and Texas to $21,000 per pound in southeastern and northeastern regions of the country. Retail prices range from $400 to $3,000 per ounce.

Methamphetamines are synthetic amphetamines or stimulants that are produced and sold illegally in pill form, capsules, powder, and chunks. Two such Methamphetamines are crank and ice.

Crank refers to any form of methamphetamine. Ice is a crystallized smokeable chunk form of methamphetamine that produces a more intense reaction than cocaine or speed. Ice has an appearance that is clear and crystal-like, and resembles frozen ice water.

Methamphetamines stimulate the central nervous system, and the effects may last anywhere from 8 to 24 hours.

Crank and ice are extremely addictive and produce a severe craving for the drug.

Methamphetamines cause a severe crash after the effects wear off. The crash, or low feeling is more intense and longer lasting than both speed and cocaine.

The effects are not only long lasting, but continue to cause damage to the user long after use has stopped.

Updated 7:02am by Sarah Gregory
Additional Meth facts courtesy DEA

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