Deputies serving warrants discover meth lab, two men charged

John Thompson • Oct 25, 2013 at 1:26 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County Sheriff’s Department arrested two men on methamphetamine charges Wednesday night. Each of the men have had prior arrests and one of the men had previously been sentenced to 10 years on methamphetamine-related charges.

Kenneth Wayne Jacobs, 44, 1300F Spruce Lane, and Larry Wayne White III, 29, 1003 Idlewild Circle, Johnson City, were each charged with initiation of the methamphetamine manufacture process, promotion of methamphetamine manufacture and felony possession of drug paraphernalia. They are scheduled to answer the charges in Sessions Court on Nov. 15.

The arrests came after agents of the department’s Special Operations Unit went to 106 VIP Road, Apt. 6, Johnson City. Sgt. Harmon Duncan said the agents were there to serve a warrant when they discovered the methamphetamine.

Duncan and Sgt. Wayne Pritchard knocked on the front door around 8:40 p.m. Wednesday and said they were allowed inside the residence, where they found Jacobs leaving the bathroom. Other agents went to the rear of the residence, where they reported finding White on the back porch.

After seeing Jacobs coming from the bathroom, agents searched there and reported finding “all necessary items and ingredients to manufacture methamphetamine” had been placed in the laundry hamper. They said they also found a red bag was in the bathroom that contained items used in methamphetamine manufacture. They also found some blue surgical gloves.

An agent said Jacobs claimed ownership and he told the agents that the apartment’s resident had no knowledge of the items had been brought to the apartment. The agent said Jacobs also identified the white pills found in a pack of Marlboro cigarettes as pseudoephedrine. In Jacobs’ pockets, the agents said they found blue surgical gloves and a “tie off” used for intravenous drug use. A small quantity of methamphetamine was found Inside a metal snuff tin. The agents said they found several syringes in Jacobs’ truck.

Criminal Court Judge Robert Cupp previously sentenced Jacobs to 10 years in prison in 2007 after he pleaded guilty on charges of initiating the process to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of a schedule II drug with intent to sell, maintaining a dwelling where narcotics are manufactured or sold and attempted aggravated child endangerment.

Those charges originated from a methamphetamine laboratory discovery similar to Wednesday’s discovery. Carter County deputies went to a residence at 103 Carl Smith Road, Hampton, on Dec. 12, 2006, to serve a warrant on Jacobs for violation of probation. When officers spoke to a resident at the door, they noticed a strong chemical smell. Agents reported finding Jacobs hiding in a closet in a child’s bedroom. They said a 6-year-old girl lived in the home. The agents found that Jacobs had recently cooked methamphetamine in a utility room.

Jacobs was sentenced to 10 years each on the attempted aggravated child endangerment, initiating the process to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of schedule II drug with intent to sell charges. Cupp ruled the sentences on the charges to run at the same time. Jacobs was classified as a standard offender, which meant he had to serve 30 percent of the sentence before he was eligible for parole.

Jacobs was incarcerated in the Johnson County Jail in January 2007. He did well in that facility and jail officials called him a “model inmate.” He served as a trusty and became “the right-hand man” to the jail maintenance man. Most recently, he served a probation violation sentence and was released from the Carter County Jail on Sept. 21.

The 10-year methamphetamine conviction was not the first time Jacobs had received a lengthy sentence. He was convicted of aggravated robbery, theft over $10,000 and carjacking in January 1999.

Those charges came from the robbery of White’s Grocery manager Richard Tester when he and another employee were attempting to make a deposit on Jan. 15, 1998.

Elizabethton Police investigators said Jacobs and Jacob Russell Cozad approached Tester with shotguns, took a deposit of $26,000 and stole Tester’s car.

Cupp ordered Jacobs to serve a year in jail and then 12 years in community-based alternative probation. He was given credit for time served. He was ordered to pay $26,000 in restitution to White’s.

White has also had previous arrests on methamphetamine charges. He was charged with 12 counts of promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing, initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a dwelling where illegal narcotics are manufactured or sold and felony possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was in Criminal Court last week on those charges and the case was reset to Nov. 15.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article left off Cozad's first name.

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