Meth lab found near elementary school in Elizabethton

John Thompson • Feb 24, 2014 at 10:50 AM

ELIZABETHTON — A methamphetmine laboratory was found across the street from Keenburg Elementary School shortly after noon on Wednesday.

Sgt. Harmon Duncan of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department said the lab was complete and was in a plastic bag. The sheriff’s department litter crew found the lab while cleaning in the area.

It appeared the lab was still active, Duncan said.

The department’s special operations division was called to the scene and trained technicians with the sheriff’s department transported the lab a few yards away from the front of the elementary school. School officials were told to keep the children inside the school until the items were relocated to a safe area.

Duncan said the lab appeared to be only hours old. Captains Mike Little and Patrick Johnson, who are certified lab technicians, donned protective equipment and deactivated the chemicals in the bottles, which included two gas generator plastic bottles and two “shake and bake bottles." Lithium was found and safely disposed. Other components found at the scene included drain cleaner, salt, coffee filters and discarded latex gloves.

Duncan said school children and the public were never in any danger of contamination because of the quick response of the sheriff’s department.

Investigators are reviewing video footage and other sources of information in an attempt to identify suspects. The Hazardous Disposal Unit of the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force responded and collected all the hazardous material.

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