EMS call uncovers mobile home meth lab
Responders uncovered a "shake and bake" meth lab operation after searching the home of a man found lying on the floor
By Bill Hand
ARAPAHOE, N.C. — A medical emergency escalated into something much bigger when sheriff’s deputies found a methamphetamine lab at a Pamlico County home Tuesday night.
According to sources, a call came into Pamlico County EMS regarding a man found lying on the floor of a mobile home at 176 Griffin Lane.
Capt. James Mitchell of the Pamlico County Sheriff’s Department said deputies responded along with Pamlico Rescue EMTs.
“While at the scene and assisting, officers observed some drug paraphernalia,” he said.
Mitchell said that Christopher Michael Griffin, 34, was transported to CarolinaEast Medical Center, where he was admitted in critical condition. Mitchell would not describe the nature of Griffin’s medical condition.
He said, so far as he knows, no one else lives at the residence.
Suspecting marijuana, officers obtained a warrant to search the house and, on finding further evidence of the meth lab, they obtained a second warrant.
“We uncovered a ‘shake and bake’ meth lab operation,” Mitchell said.
The “shake and bake” is a method of manufacturing methamphetamine (meth) using liter bottles that is quicker than older methods and is designed to get around the legal difficulties of finding ingredients.
The method also takes less room — it can even be made in a car — but is also dangerous. If the bottle is shaken the wrong way, or if oxygen gets into it, it can explode in a fireball. The used bottle carries a poisonous brown and white sludge, according to the website About.com.
The residence is a mobile home along a sand road located a few hundred yards off N.C. 306. The yard is cluttered and signs are on several windows stating “Beware of Dog,” though a deputy at the scene said no dog was found.
At least six vehicles from the sheriff’s office and the State Bureau of Investigation’s mobile crime unit arrived on the scene Wednesday afternoon, and a Pamlico Fire Department engine arrived on the scene a short time later.
Mitchell said the crime lab was brought in because the SBI has better training and facilities for this kind of investigation.
He said charges are pending after the SBI finishes with its examination of the scene.
©2014 the Sun Journal (New Bern, N.C.)