By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
The arrests for manufacturing methamphetamine were drastically reduced from 2010 and 2012, but the first two months of 2013 have brought several incidents and arrests thus far.
The latest occurrence came Sunday morning when Laurel County Sheriff’s officials investigated a complaint on County Farm Road, two miles west of London, around 10 a.m.
When Detective Jason Back and Deputies Greg Turner and John Inman arrived, they found components used to make methamphetamine inside the residence. They also found 49-year-old Steven E. Petree, who was arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine.
Because the chemicals used in the process of making meth are highly toxic, the meth labs must be dismantled and/or neutralized by trained officers to avoid contamination. In Sunday’s incident, Deputy James Sizemore and Detective Billy Madden dismantled the components.
The occurrence of located meth labs during 2013 have been somewhat frequent, especially during the month of February. The discovery of discarded meth lab on Pine Creek Road, in the western section of the county, in early February was the first known such incident of the year. A second discarded meth lab was discovered on Feb. 11 by employees of the London Utility.
Seeley Road, just off West Ky. 80, was the hot spot last week when officers with the Kentucky State Police Post 11 in London discovered four active meth labs at a residence, resulting in the arrest of one person. A child was also present in the home where the meth was being made.
January brought multiple arrests in two different incidents. On January 14, Kentucky State Police did a routine traffic stop and noticed the strong odor of meth coming from the vehicle. An active meth lab was discovered inside the car, with three arrests stemming from that incident.
Three days later, four people were arrested at four different locations in the county. All four possessed crystal meth.