January 17, 2013

Meth lab found in car

Traffic stop leads to arrests

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — When Keavy resident Joshua Hays failed to stop for a stop sign Monday night, it was just the beginning of his troubles.

Kentucky State Police Sgt. Steve Walker saw the 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt run a stop sign at the intersection of Ky. 312 and Ky. 363 and pulled the vehicle over. But while talking with the 30-year-old Hays, Walker determined he was driving under the influence of intoxicants and placed him under arrest.

During this time, Walker smelled a strong odor coming from the car and discovered one completed meth lab as well as salts, lithium batteries, and drain cleaner — all chemicals used in the production of methamphetamine. In addition, Walker, who was assisted by Laurel County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin Walker, found one gram of finished methamphetamine, some marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Walker then charged Hays with DUI, disregarding a stop sign, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and manufacturing meth. Two passengers in the vehicle — 24-year-old Michael Cunigan of Annville and 21-year-old Stye Stewart of McKee — were also charged with manufacturing meth.

The three were lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center. Jail records show that Cunigan is also charged with third-degree burglary, theft by unlawful taking and a probation violation.