Three people have been charged with manufacturing methamphetamine after officers discovered an active meth lab in Walnut Cove on Friday.
It had been more than a year since a meth lab was discovered in Stokes County, but last week the SBI was called in to help clean up a lab found at 988 Fowler Road, Walnut Cove.
The following have been charged in connection with the case and have court appearances set for March 20:
• Randall Wayne Hall, 48, of 988 Fowler Road, Walnut Cove, charged with three counts felony manufacturing meth, three counts felony possession of precursors, and felony maintaining a drug dwelling. Bond is $250,000 secured.
• Floyd Coy Wilson Church, 35, of 123 Brevard Street, Winston-Salem, charged with felony manufacturing meth and felony conspiracy to manufacture meth. Bond is $25,000 secured.
• James Earl McCloud, 48, of 6008 Christopher Court, Walkertown, charged with felony manufacturing meth, felony conspiracy to manufacture meth, and felony possession of precursors. Bond is $100,000 secured.
A monthlong, ongoing investigation by local narcotics officers led to the discovery of the lab at a residence in a mobile home park off of Fowler Road, near Highway 89. Investigators were following up on information when they observed evidence indicative of a possible active meth lab.
Officers with the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office and Walnut Cove Police Department locked down the property, applied for a search warrant and called in the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation.
Fowler Road was blocked off last Friday during the cleanup, and residences in the immediate proximity of the meth lab were evacuated during the cleanup as a safety precaution.
Sheriff Mike Marshall said it was a three-pot operation — a little larger than what is usually found in the county — and one pot was active at the time of the discovery.
“It could’ve been extremely dangerous,” Marshall said.
Marshall said in a statement Monday: “This is one of the many reasons why we do what we do every day. One of the most serious issues in our society today is dealing with the ‘meth’ problem. When it is found in the stage like it was found here on Fowler Road, it can be even more dangerous to our citizens and the officers who deal with it as they are trying to handle it.”
Cleanup took much of the day. In the past, the county was responsible for the costs, but the sheriff said the state legislature changed that last year and the county no longer has to pay for cleanup.
“It’ll save us a couple thousand (dollars),” Marshall estimated.
The sheriff said trace evidence of meth was found at the site, but the only meth at the scene was what was cooking.
It has been more than a year since a meth lab was discovered in the county. Though meth use is a problem, Marshall said the county does not see a lot of labs.