LAKELAND, GA (WALB) -
Deputies of the Lanier County Sheriff's Office found a meth-making operation in Lakeland Thursday. 35 year old Benjamin Parrish, who lives in the mobile home, was already in jail, and officers found out he was also wanted in North Carolina. The GBI came in and found over a dozen meth-making devices.
Here is the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office Press Release
At 8:30 Thursday agents and investigators with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office executed a search of a doublewide mobile home located at the corner of Murrell and College in Lakeland to attempt to discover evidence of methamphetamine manufacturing.
A tipster had advised the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit that the occupant of the mobile home had been arrested in two other jurisdictions and was in jail in Lowndes County for manufacturing and trafficking in meth-amphetamine. The anonymous tipster also indicated that it was aware of meth-amphetamine manufacturing occurring in the Murrell Street address and that there were numerous items in the home used for the purpose of making the illegal drug.
Investigators verified that the occupant, Benjamin Parrish, a 35 year old white male, was in fact incarcerated in Lowndes County, Georgia for charges related to manufacturing and trafficking in meth-amphetamine and has been given a $50,000.00 bond which he has been unable to make. Additionally the investigators discovered that Parrish also has a hold placed on him for another felony charge of operating a mobile meth lab in Silva, North Carolina.
The search of the residence on Murrell yielded a large quantity of evidence indicating that meth was being produced regularly in the home. More than 15 “generators” (devices used to break down common cold pills to extract the meth) were present along with smoking devices and chemicals used to produce the illegal substance and a lot of tubing, filters, batteries and support equipment.
Parrish has not been charged but is considered a prime suspect and charges are pending further investigation into what law enforcement called a “significant” meth manufacturing operation that had gone dormant.
GBI Agents who are certified to enter a suspected meth manufacturing location and retrieve the caustic and flammable chemicals were called in to assist the Sheriff’s Office Investigators. They removed, tested, safely packaged and then turned the chemicals over to the Sheriff’s Office investigators who placed them in the care of a private firm approved to properly dispose of them after extracting samples for lab testing. Field tests had already indicated the chemicals and residue were meth related.
Sheriff Charles Norton said: “The danger to the community from the potential for an explosion or fire at the residence was considerable. There was no power in the home but power was being taken from a lot next door and one frayed wire could have sent the mobile home up like a roman candle. Mr. Parrish will be interviewed in this matter and we will take the appropriate action for the danger the public was placed in as well as for the meth-amphetamine. This drug is SO addictive that once people get hooked, they do things they never would have done in their “Normal” lives but that is no excuse for placing the community in such danger of a fire or explosion… not to mention the danger they pose to themselves while manufacturing the drug.”
He went on to say “A lot of people think this meth business is like the wildly popular Breaking Bad television series and instead of Breaking Bad they just wind up Badly Broken. It is an epidemic.”