Meth Lab Bust Leads to 4 Arrests, 2 Children Removed from Home

Police Bust Meth Lab, Take 2 Children into Protective Custody, and Arrest 4 Suspects

meth lab bustOn Friday, May 16th, West Columbia police busted a meth lab arrested 4 adult suspects, and took 2 children into protective custody.

The meth lab raid stemmed from a visit to serve a warrant for a parole violation. Officers served an arrest warrant to James Lowell West, 32; while they were on the premises they found an active meth lab in the home. Police contacted the Lexington County Multi-Narcotics Enforcement Team, who executed a search warrant and found two children –a 3-year-old girl and a 16-month-old boy – locked in a bedroom. They found paraphernalia used to ingest meth along with the active meth lab.

In addition to West, officers also arrested Amanda Elizabeth Greene, 25. Tren Ladell Browder, 42, of Lexington and Kinsli Jaid Bruce, 21, of West Columbia were later arrested during a traffic stop. Reportedly, officers saw the car hesitate in front of the home and then drive away. Upon further investigation, officers found scales and a used needle in Browder’s backpack, as well as six grams of meth. Browder and Bruce were charged with possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, while Greene and West were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine in the home with the active meth lab. They were also charged with exposing a child to a meth lab, and unlawful conduct toward a child by a legal custodian. While these drug charges are simply allegations, being charged with a drug crime can result in severe penalties.

The two children were checked by a doctor and turned over to relatives.

The Rise of Meth Labs in South Carolina

Statistics from 2000 show that South Carolina had one of the lowest rates of methamphetamine use in the country.

However, those numbers are changing as meth labs become more portable, and meth manufacturers become more savvy. Between 2007 and 2011, incidents of busted meth labs increased more than 10 times – 26 in 2007, to 267 in 2011. News reports show meth lab busts in some part of South Carolina nearly every week.

Two years ago, South Carolina lawmakers attempted to stop the fast-growing trend by placing limits on the amount of pseudoephedrine customers can purchase, and pharmacists – who keep the drug behind counters – swipe the customer’s driver’s license to see if limits have been met. Electronic tracking should, in theory, stop meth manufacturers from buying large amounts of the necessary chemical.

However, the portable meth labs use less of the drug by creating smaller amounts of methamphetamine.

All meth labs use dangerous, deadly chemicals, and are prone to explosions – even the portable ones. In the shake and bake method, manufacturers must constantly unscrew the lid of the bottle to relieve pressure. When not monitored closely, the bottles can explode, spraying dangerous chemicals everywhere.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Meth Lab Drug Crimes Charges

The drug crime attorneys at Strom Law Firm, LLC will aggressively defend your case whether you are under investigation or have been arrested for drugs in all State and Federal Courts in South Carolina as well as the Federal Courts in Georgia. Drug cases, including meth lab busts, need to be examined from every angle, and in many cases are subject to mandatory minimum sentences. Aggressive representation can protect your future. Drug crime charges and drug busts in South Carolina are very serious. If you have been charged with possession, trafficking, or manufacturing drugsthe 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.

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