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Five arrested in meth lab bust



Staff Writer


Five people are accused of running a meth lab this month at a residence north of Lincolnton, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said.

The State Bureau of Investigation assisted narcotics investigators in shutting down the “one-pot” meth lab just before 6 p.m. Friday at 2680 Coral Drive after receiving a tip about possible drug activity inside, a press release said.

Also dubbed the “shake and bake method,” “one-pot” labs are the more quick and common form of labs that North Carolina law enforcement agencies are locating today and can be constructed in something as simple as a plastic soda bottle, state officials have said.

SBI officials and deputies worked until 12 p.m. Friday to clean-up the toxic chemicals used to make the methamphetamine. Investigators also believe from evidence seized that the suspects were selling the volatile drug.

“They definitely knew what they were doing,” Lt. Jason Reid, head of the Sheriff’s narcotics division, told the Times-News. “They were very experienced and knowledgeable about making meth.”

The release revealed that three of the five individuals charged in the incident lived at the home including  Autumn Dawn Buckland, 31, Bryan Andrew Brown, 39, and Christa Ann McClung, 38.

Lesley Edward Greene, 40, of 709 North Main Avenue, and Ashley Renee Propst, 25, of 4544 Graybirch Drive, both in Maiden, were also arrested.

All five suspects have been charged with one felony count each of manufacturing a schedule II controlled substance, conspiracy and possession/distribute a meth precursor.

McClung additionally faces one felony count of maintaining a dwelling or vehicle for a controlled substance, deputies said.

In 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a bill requiring state pharmacies use the NPLEx system (National Precursor Log Exchange) to track the sale of pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient found in meth labs, in order to ultimately help cut back on the number of labs being constructed.

The system limits the number of pseudoephedrine products a person can purchase per year.

Propst, McClung and Buckland are being held under a $40,000 bond apiece while Brown sits under a $100,000 bond. Greene remains behind bars without bond.

Area residents are encouraged to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Drug Tip Line at (704) 736-8606 with any information they have on possible drug activity in the county. Investigators follow-up on all tips.

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