Three pick up meth-related charges in Carter

John Thompson • Dec 10, 2012 at 9:42 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County Sheriff’s Department continued to make arrests on methamphetamine charges over the weekend. In addition to the arrests, two methamphetamine labs were dismantled in unrelated incidents in Roan Mountain and Stoney Creek.

The first meth lab discovery came about with the assistance of state Child Protective Services investigators. They called 911 about items the observed outside the residence at 112 Hampton Creek Road, Roan Mountain, that appeared to be elements of a methamphetamine lab.

Lt. Mike Little of the sheriff’s department responded and spoke with Joshua L. Campbell, 26, and Tara Michelle Reyes, 35. He also did a survey outside the residence with Campbell and reported finding items consistent with methamphetamine manufacture. Campbell reportedly told Little the garbage had been left by previous residents and he has been working to clean up the area.

Little investigated and found Campbell and Reyes had been living at the residence for at least four months. He said recently generated trash were found inside and outside the residence.

Sgt. Harmon Duncan said a search of a shed behind the house uncovered cut lithium batteries and raw lithium metal; three empty packages of cold remedy containing psuedoephedrine, a key component in making methamphetamine, and coffee filters containing white residue.

Outside in the trash, investigators found empty containers of Coleman fuel and salt.

Inside the home, investigators found a zippered bag containing several cut straws, coffee filters, a set of digital scales and several grams of a white powder that was sent to the crime labs of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for identification.

Duncan said it was established that both Campbell and Reyes had recently purchased “a significant amount of psuedoephedrine.”

Both Campbell and Reyes were charged with six counts of promotion of methamphetamine manufacture. Campbell was also charged with initiation of a process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Cambell and Reyes appeared in Sessions Court on Monday and were each appointed a public defender. They are scheduled to be back in court Feb. 8.

Child Protective Service was already working a case on Reyes. Upon her arrest, the agency took custody of her three children, ages a few months to 4 years old.

The second incident occurred Saturday morning when Sgt. Wayne Pritchard investigated a car parked on Reno Lane in the Stoney Creek community. The driver was identified as David Patrick Abernathy, 39, 116 Flora Dugger Lane.

Abernathy reportedly gave a statement that he had parked the car on Reno Lane to get some sleep after gathering supplies for others to make methamphetamine.

Duncan said there were two plastic bottles with residue on the ground near the car. In the vehicle he found a 32-ounce bottle of Coleman fuel, a funnel, Clean Shot drain cleaner, coffee filters, a small strainer with residue, salt, aluminum foil with residue and burn marks, two tube cutters and a pharmacy card.

Also found was a glass jar with a clear liquid that was identified as meth oil.

Duncan said Abernathy’s possession of a “shake” bottle containing lithium mixed with other chemicals and a “generator” bottle, both of which contained residue from a recent manufacture, led Duncan to believe Abernathy was also making methamphetamine.

Abernathy was charged with five counts of promotion of methamphetamine and one count of initiation of the process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Abernathy appeared in Sessions Court on Monday, where his bond was set at $7,500. He is scheduled for his next appearance Feb. 8.

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