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Local News

Meth labs found inside walls of Kingsport residence

May 17th, 2012 1:31 pm by Rain Smith

Decontamination efforts at a Kingsport home, where the occupants were previously arrested on drug charges, has uncovered 10 additional one-pot meth labs.


The labs were located Wednesday inside a wall at 5737 Fort Henry Drive. The residents, Charles Horton, 45, and Donna Horton, 42, were arrested March 15 as Sullivan County Vice detectives conducted a search of their residence. The structure has been quarantined since that time.


The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office reports bottles used for 10 one-pot cooks, along with 26 gasser portions of meth labs, were found by a company decontaminating the residence. The items were inside two trash bags that had been hidden inside a downstairs wall.


Police says tests to determine the level of contamination in the structure yielded results approximately 400 times over normal levels. There is not believed to be any health hazards to neighboring residents, as the home has been quarantined since the Horton's March arrest.


Police obtained a search warrant for the location after the National Precursor Log Exchange, or NPLEx computer monitoring system, flagged Donna Horton as purchasing excessive amounts of over-the-counter medicine. During the search meth lab components were allegedly located inside the home, including nine bottles that had been used to cook meth and six gas generating bottles.


Police said six three liter bottles, which were believed to contain urine, were also discovered. The Sheriff's Office reported the bottles were saved because there is a process by which meth users can extract methamphetamine from their liquid waste.


In the March incident the Hortons were arrested and charged with promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine, initiation of a process to produce meth, maintaining a dwelling where narcotics are made or sold, and possession of drug paraphernalia.


The couple's next court appearance on the charges is set for June 14. As of Thursday afternoon they were each held in the Sullivan County jail in Blountville.

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