CLAYTON — Two adults have been arrested and a 4-year-old child turned over to the Johnston County Department of Social Services after deputies found an “active” and dangerous methamphetamine lab Thursday at a home in Clayton.
Douglas Lee Brock, 33, and Tara Nicole Bunn, 29, have each been charged with felony manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of precursor chemicals, felony conspiracy, maintaining a dwelling for the manufacture of meth, misdemeanor child abuse, misdemeanor marijuana possession and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
An emergency room nurse told sheriffs when the four-year-old was brought in for examination, the vapors from methamphetamine had seeped into her skin and the odor could be smelled from a distance.
“They removed clothes from the child thinking it was the clothes were saturated,” said Capt. Alex Fish of the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office. “Once they removed the clothes they realized the chemical odor was coming from the child and not the clothes.”
Acting on a tip that methamphetamine was being produced at the 150 Loop Road residence, sheriff’s deputies had been investigating for evidence to confirm the accusation. When they visited the home on Thursday, they found evidence of the one-pot method of manufacturing methamphetamine.
“It’s really dangerous,” Fish said.
There are toxic vapors and a batch of methamphetamine mixed up inside a plastic bottle inside the home, he said.
Deputies searched the home around 1 a.m. Friday and seized pseudophedrine, a key ingredient in making methamphetamine, as well as documents that verifed that Brock and Bunn lived at the home, and drug paraphernalia used to smoke marijuana and methamphetamine. The State Bureau of Investigation took samples from the methamphetamine mixture found in a plastic bottle.
The one-pot method has grown in popularity across the state in response to efforts to limit access to over-the-counter drugs, including pseudophedrine, used to make methamphetamine because it requires less of the ingredients. The method also is much more compact and portable than the large-scale operations that involve beakers and jugs of chemicals.
The names of the two adults – man and woman – have not been released, but Fish said they will be charged with felony manufacturing of methamphetamine, felony possession of precursors, or chemicals to make methamphetamine, and felony conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. They also will be charged with felony maintaining a dwelling place for a controlled substance and misdemeanor child abuse.
A 6-year-old also lived in the residence, but was not at the home when the adults were arrested Thursday, Fish said.