Justine and David Larkins
CHURCH HILL — Hawkins County deputies allegedly found a one-pot meth lab cooking while checking up on a tip Monday evening of four neglected children living in a Church Hill residence.
The tipster told the HCSO that four children ages 7, 8, 9, and 10 living at 121 Davis Road had no food.
Deputies responded to the residence Monday at 6 p.m. and met the children’s parents, David Dwight Larkins, 44, and Justine Marie Larkins, 40 — as well as the four children who were also home.
Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said that while deputies were inside the home checking to see if the children’s basic necessities were being met they observed numerous ingredients and components used in meth labs.
Deputies also allegedly detected a strong odor associated with meth manufacturing.
David Larkins allegedly admitted he is a heavy meth user and that he had been manufacturing meth recently. Larkins surrendered a one-pot meth lab that was cooking while hidden in a box in the room located between the living room and the kitchen.
The home was then immediately evacuated.
“Officers then contacted Narcotics Unit, who responded to the scene,” Lawson said. “Properly equipped narcotics officers entered the home, and officers recovered commercial products, which had already been mixed together to begin the process of manufacturing meth. Narcotics officers recovered two spoons containing a white residue, which is believed to be meth.”
Lawson added, “Narcotics officers also recovered a strainer and a soda can, containing less than a half gram of a white substance, which is also believed to be meth.”
Deputies also allegedly recovered aluminum foil, sulfuric acid, pliers, marijuana pipe, digital gram scales, and ammonia nitrate, two homemade hydrochloric acid generators, and one-half of a green pill, believed to be Klonopin. David and Justine Larkins, and the four children, were all decontaminated.
David Larkins was charged with initiating the process of manufacturing meth, possession of meth, possession of Schedule IV narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia; and maintaining a dwelling where narcotics are housed or sold. Justine Larkins was charged with promotion of the manufacture of meth.
Both were being held Thursday in the Hawkins County Jail on $100,000 bond with a court appearance set for Friday. Lawson said his department is still investigating alleged child neglect and abuse of the four children.
The Tennessee Department of Children’s Service responded to the scene and took custody of all four children. Lawson said the children were transported to a local hospital for routine medical screenings.
Also assisting at the scene were the Tennessee Methamphetamine and Pharmaceutical Task Force, the Carters Valley Volunteer Fire Department, and the Church Hill EMS.