Meth Lab Busted in Columbia Hotel

Columbia Hotel Housed Meth Lab

Two people were arrested on Wednesday, April 24th, for running a meth lab out of a hotel room just off of Greystone Boulevard.

Columbia Police Department officers responded to an anonymous Crimestoppers tip about drug activity in the hotel room. Officers investigated the hotel room at the Affordable Suites, and found an active meth lab and two people mixing chemicals. When they stopped the cooking, they found four mason jars with ingredients used to make meth. Paraphernalia was found throughout the room as well.

One of the suspects said that the meth lab had caught fire once already, so officers quickly stopped the cook. According to a spokeswoman for the Columbia Police Department, officers risked their lives to make sure the meth manufacturing process stopped.

Gregory Thomas Jones, 41, has been charged with manufacturing methamphetamines, possession with intent to distribute, possession of heroin, and two counts of possession of a controlled substance. Jennifer Boone Livingston, 39, is charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, and possession of heroin.

The Dangers of Meth Labs

Methamphetamine is extremely addictive, very toxic, and cooking meth can be extremely dangerous. The Upstate area of South Carolina saw the most meth lab busts in the first half of 2012, while Lexington County has focused on busting meth labs since last fall. Overall, South Carolina ranks in the top 10 for meth-producing states. Referring to the meth crisis as an “epidemic” is a bit strong, but if adequate measures are not taken to reduce the problem, it may become a full-blown “epidemic”.

Busting meth labs burdens not only on law enforcement, but also innocent people. Heavier restrictions on obtaining ephedrine and pseudoephedrine make it hard for chronic allergy sufferers to obtain the medicine they need. The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 put restrictions on the daily and monthly limits on how much ephedrine and pseudoephedrine can be purchased by a person, and requires ID to purchase the substance. Their purchases are then recorded in a database and monitored by law enforcement. However, to get around the restrictions, meth producers are now using false ID’s and a recruiting others to make the purchase for them. This act is known as “smurfing”.

So far, two states have enacted a prescription requirement for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine including Oregon and Mississippi.  Since Mississippi has enacted this requirement in 2010, there has been a 90 percent drop in meth lab crimes.

Community members also are burdened by the meth problem. Methamphetamine can ignite or explode anytime during production, contaminating entire neighborhoods. Many times these meth labs are not in remote areas, such as the meth lab found in the hotel just off Greystone Boulevard, which is a very populous and busy area. Special cleaning crews work with law enforcement to clean up meth labs.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Drug Crimes Charges for Meth Labs

Drug crime charges and meth lab busts in South Carolina are very serious. If you have been charged with possession, trafficking, or manufacturing drugsincluding manufacturing at a meth lab, the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can helpWe offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact us today by calling (803)252-4800.