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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Charges placed after parents alert police to son's drug activity

May 8th, 2013 9:50 pm by John Thompson

Charges placed after parents alert police to son's drug activity

ELIZABETHTON — For the second time during the past weekend, parents alerted the Carter County Sheriff’s Department on their suspicions that their son was manufacturing methamphetamine on their property.
Lt. Mike Little responded to a call to 118 Patrick Henry Drive, where he talked with Michele Bartlett. She said she had allowed her son, Michael Bartlett Sr., 41, to stay at her residence for three months. She said he had been spending a substantial amount of time in an outbuilding on the property and was concerned he may be making methamphetamine.
Little said he inspected the outbuilding and located the components of a one-pot methamphetamine laboratory. He said there were four one-pot bottles containing lithium, ammonium nitrate, sodium hydroxide, salts and flammable solvent, discarded packages of cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine, coffee filters, assorted jars containing flammable solvents and acids, funnels and plastic tubing attached to screw-on caps for plastic bottles.
Little said he also found tools such as pliers and pipe cleaners.
Little and other trained officers neutralized the hazardous materials. The items were then removed from the premises by officers from the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force.
After the cleanup, Little wrote an arrest warrant charging Michael Bartlett Sr. with initiation of a process intended to result in the manufacture of methhamphetamine.
Little also conducted a check of area pharmacies and said he discovered Michael Bartlett Sr. had made 10 purchases of cold medicine containing psuedoephedrine since January. Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient in making methamphetamine. Little charged Bartlett with three counts of promotion of methamphetamine based on three alleged purchases of pseudoephedrine inside Carter County. He was also charged with felony possession of drug paraphernalia.
Also over the weekend, parents of Kenneth Dwayne Ritchie, 37, 130 Cedar Grove Road, had called the sheriff’s department to investigate a garage apartment they had allowed their son to use. As a result of that call, Ritchie was arrested on several methamphetamine charges.

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