Catawba County deputies and the officials with the State Bureau of Investigation assisted the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Friday in destroying a meth lab at an Iron Station residence, according to a Sheriff’s Office press release.
Narcotics investigators discovered the lab two days earlier at a home on Scenic Drive after following up on a tip that was called in to the county’s Drug Tip Line, the release said.
Deputies charged Chaz Tylor Roark, 19, of 4733 Mutual Way, in the incident. Investigators told the Times-News that one of Roark’s relatives lives at the Scenic Drive residence.
Deputies destroyed some of the materials but packaged the rest to be tested, the release said.
Roark is being held under a $50,000 secured bond and faces one felony count each of possession/distribution of a meth precursor and manufacturing a schedule II controlled substance.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Roark has a criminal record in Lincoln County for misdemeanor offenses that include wanton injury to personal property, possession/purchase of a malt beverage under age 21 and simple assault/affray, according to the North Carolina Department of Correction website.
The bust is the first of its kind so far this year in Lincoln County, and according to the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office, meth labs are on the rise across the state.
Of the 460 total meth labs located in North Carolina in 2012, compared to 344 in 2011 and 235 in 2010, Lincoln County possessed six, the N.C. Department of Justice’s website revealed.
Lincoln County meth labs have also risen over the last three years including one in 2010, four in 2011 and six in 2012, according to site statistics.
Most of the labs law enforcement officers are stumbling upon now are “one pot” meth labs, according to a N.C. Attorney General’s Office press release.
In recent years, state law has ordered businesses to track the sale of pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient in cold medicines used to make methamphetamine, and in return, better track the individuals who are creating such labs, the release said.
Noelle Talley, public information officer for the state’s Attorney General’s Office, better explained the issue.
“In addition to blocking many suspect purchases of pseudoephedrine, the NPLEx system also helps law enforcement identify potential suspects based on purchasing patterns or repeated attempts to make illegal buys,” she said. “SBI agents and other law enforcement officers use the system to get leads to find meth makers, which in turn leads to more lab busts.”
The release revealed that most of the meth labs located last year in North Carolina were in urban and suburban areas, particularly the greater Charlotte area which included Gaston County with seven total labs and Union County with 13.