10 crystal meth sites shut down in Warren County

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 12, 2002

[02/12/02]At least 10 crystal methamphetamine manufacturing sites have been shut down and five people arrested in an ongoing investigation by the Warren County Sheriff’s Department.

All five arrests were made south of Vicksburg, two Monday at 4908 Halls Ferry Road, and three Sunday at 2300 Glass Road, Lot 21.

Scott Ellis, 20, and Alvin Logan, 31, were arrested at the Halls Ferry address, and Kevin Sanders, 18, Cavitt Smith, 39, and Shirley Wood, 40, were arrested at the Glass Road address. The arrests and the seizures of the 10 manufacturing sites, mainly outdoors and some on Ring Road, also south of Vicksburg, were all made between 10:30 p.m. Sunday and midnight Monday, Sheriff Martin Pace said.

The investigation continues and more arrests are expected, Pace said.

The five people arrested, each of whom was charged with at least one felony involving the possession of the ingredients for, conspiracy to manufacture and manufacture of crystal methamphetamine, were in the Warren County Jail without bond this morning and expected to make initial court appearances at the same time today, Pace said.

The manufacture of the drug seems to be on the rise in Warren County, Pace said.

Other enforcement operations by the Sheriff’s Department in the past 12 days were a Feb. 1 raid at 2 a.m. that resulted in two arrests and the seizure of an operating crystal methamphetamine laboratory, along with materials and product, on Fairview Drive, and a Feb. 5 raid on a motel room that resulted in two more arrests, both for possessing more than 250 pills containing the drug pseudoephedrine, commonly available in over-the-counter cold remedies.

Crystal methamphetamine is made using ingredients available commercially in labs that can be set up fairly quickly.

Pace described the drug as “very addictive and debilitating physically.”

The process of making crystal meth produces caustic gases that are flammable and potentially harmful to those nearby, Pace said.

“If neighbors or passers-by stumble onto it, it’s not something to tamper with,” Pace said, adding that people should not open containers and smell them, but should call the Sheriff’s Department. “We have trained investigators who are well-equipped to handle clandestine labs,” Pace said.

Pace said the powerful stimulant has worked its way into the mainstream of society, so that now everyone from high-school students to middle-aged housewives are involved in the manufacture and distribution of it.

Pace also said people who notice strong chemical aromas should notify authorities. “Some of the cases we’ve developed have originated from neighbors complaining about the smell and not even knowing what they’re reporting,” he said.

The investigators in the Warren County Sheriff’s Department who specialize in enforcing Mississippi’s crystal meth laws are trained at Quantico, Va., and at least partially equipped by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.