Three Arrested for Mobile Meth Lab

Three Arrested in Orangeburg for Mobile Meth Lab

mobile meth labThree Orangeburg residents were stopped on Monday, November 10th, after a traffic stop uncovered a mobile meth lab in their vehicle.

The three were arrested by the SC Highway Patrol near Shillings Bridge Road. Will Rogers Mitchum Jr., 21, was charged with manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine, as well as driving under suspension; he has been released on a $20,000 bond. Shane Allen Russell, 25, was charged with manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine, and he was released on a $20,000 bond. Fran Nicole Roberts, 18, was charged with manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine. Her bond was set at $20,000, but Roberts is still being held on other charges.

When the three suspects were pulled over, troopers found a mobile meth lab in the trunk of the vehicle. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division was called in to clean up the area.

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.

Portable meth labs are becoming more and more prevalent throughout both South Carolina and the nation. These labs, often referred to as “shake and bake” labs, create a small amount of meth with less paraphernalia. They are also more difficult to detect than larger meth labs, which often have to be situated in a house. Shake and bake meth labs use a 16-ounce plastic bottle, ammonia (which must be stowed since it comes in large containers, so meth manufacturers often hide the containers in the woods), and pseudoephedrine, often found in cough syrup and decongestant pills.

“The people doing this want to get what they can as fast as they can,” said an undercover agent. “That’s what makes it so hard to find and to catch these guys. It’s so portable. It’s aggravating.”

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 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 help. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact us today by calling (803)252-4800.

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