Michael Brad Smith, Sean Michael Byrd and James David Hale
Washington County sheriff’s deputies arrested three men suspected of making meth in a “rolling lab” in a wooded area off Hales Chapel Road, according to court documents and a news release.
Michael Brandon Smith, 30, 160 Powell St., Greeneville; James David Hale, 32, 2078 Hugh Cox Road, Gray; and Sean Michael Byrd, 22, no address, were all charged with promotion of methamphetamine production late Friday night.
Investigator William Rhodes wrote in the arrest warrants that he acted on complaints about vehicles parking in the area and walking down toward I-26. After observing the area Friday night, Rhodes saw flashlights shining and leaving the woods.
Rhodes conducted a traffic stop as soon as he saw taillights from a vehicle light up. While officers were conducting a records check on the three men, a K-9 unit conducted an “open air” sniff around the exterior of the car.
The dog alerted to both passenger’s doors, according to the warrant. That gave officers probable cause to search the car where they smelled a strong odor of starter fluid from the floorboard and located an empty pseudoephedrine box and the receipt showing a purchase of pseudoephedrine from Walgreen's several hours earlier the same day.
In the trunk officers found a “gasser” tube, a half-full bottle of drain opener, brake parts cleaner, empty pseudoehedrine packs, a bag of salt, one lithium battery, plastic bag of ammonia nitrate, a bag with salt and a pipe cutter and water.
Offiers called the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force to respond and neutralize the meth-manufacturing components.
All three men were held on a $10,000 bond and were arraigned Monday in Washington County Sessions Court.