A Sullivan County Sheriff's Office detective cleans up what law enforcement officials are describing as the largest methamphetamine dumpsite ever found in Sullivan County. The dumpsite was found at a home on Ryder Church Road. Photo by David Grace.
BLUFF CITY — A methamphetamine waste dumpsite described by law enforcement as Sullivan County’s largest ever was discovered Tuesday afternoon in a vacant home near Bluff City.
Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart said more than 30 trash bags of meth waste were discovered in a crawlspace under the home, which is located in the 500 block of Ryder Church Road.
“The trash bags were full of nothing but meth waste,” Earhart said. “We’re basically talking about one-pot bottles, gasser bottles, blister packs, muriatic acid, and various other items used in the meth-making process.”
Investigators reportedly found more than 105 one-pot bottles that had been used to cook the drug and more than 2,000 blister packs of medication used as an ingredient.
The home will have to be quarantined as a result of the waste, Earhart said.
Earhart said the owners of the home have not lived in the area for several years and are not considered suspects in the case.
According to Earhart, the home was left to its current owners when the original owner died several years ago while it was still under construction.
“The home went to his family, and it’s our understanding they have not been around for the last couple of years, so the house has remained vacant,” she said. “They recently started working on the home and today they made the discovery in the crawlspace.”
Earhart said the homeowners contacted authorities immediately after making the discovery.
The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office Vice and Narcotics Unit was being assisted in its investigation by the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force, the Second Judicial Drug Task Force and vice and narcotics officers from the Bristol, Tenn., Police Department.
The Hickory Tree Volunteer Fire Department, East Sullivan Volunteer Fire Department and 421 Area Emergency Services were also called to assist with cleanup efforts.
Law enforcement will clean up the meth waste, Earhart said, while the home’s owners will be responsible for having it decontaminated.
Earhart said investigators are now working to determine who is responsible for leaving the waste.
The home’s remote location and its partially finished state were likely the main factors responsible for it being used as a dumpsite, she said.
“There are houses near but you cannot see them from this property,” Earhart said. “The house has also been vacant for the last couple of years, so it probably appeared to be a good place to those making meth to dump their waste.”