ROGERSVILLE — Narcotics officers with the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office seized two meth labs Tuesday, and although they are unrelated cases, both stemmed from separate domestic dispute investigations.
They were the first two meth lab seizures in Hawkins County of 2008.
Sheriff Roger Christian said one suspect, Kenneth Brian Carpenter, 31, 915 County Line Road, Mooresburg, is still at large. The HCSO was dispatched to Carpenter’s residence Tuesday evening as a result of his reportedly being involved in a domestic disturbance with his father over a vehicle. Carpenter had left the residence before deputies arrived, Christian said.
“While speaking with Mr. Carpenter’s father, one of the officers noticed in plain view inside the residence items associated with meth manufacturing,” Christian said. “Our narcotics unit obtained a search warrant, and upon conducting a search they found ingredients and components for a meth lab, as well as some pills.”
An arrest warrant has been issued for Carpenter for promotion of meth manufacturing and violation of the Tennessee Drug Control Act. Christian asks anyone with information about Carpenter’s whereabouts to call 272-4848.
Deputies also allegedly found a small meth lab Tuesday in the process of an active “cook” while attempting to serve a domestic violence and domestic vandalism arrest warrant on Shannon Todd Coffey, 37, 143 Greenview Drive, Whitesburg.
Christian said Coffey’s brother met deputies at the door and told the deputies that Coffey was not home. Deputies heard a TV in the bedroom, and suspecting he was there went to the back bedroom, where they found him lying on the bed.
“Deputies found some items that indicated drug activity was taking place,” Christian said. “One of the officers went to pick up his pants, and a bottle of tablets — we believe hydrocodone — fell out. There was also a crack pipe on the nightstand, so they asked Mr. Coffey if they could search the residence, and he gave permission.”
The search revealed ephedrine tablets soaking in ether and a small meth lab in the midst of a cook, Christian said.
Aside from the domestic charges, Coffey was additionally charged with promotion of meth manufacturing, manufacturing meth, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of Schedule III narcotics for resale, and maintaining a dwelling where narcotics are sold.
On Wednesday, Sessions Judge David Brand ordered Coffey held in the Hawkins County Jail without bond for being arrested while out on bond from a November arrest for promotion of meth manufacturing, possession of Schedule IV narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia, assault, theft and child abuse.
Hawkins County’s meth lab seizure rate has fluctuated somewhat since the first half of this decade, when 30 or more labs per year was the norm.
Last year there were 21 meth labs seized in Hawkins County, preceded by 14 in 2006 and 20 in 2005.