An alleged theft investigation turned into a meth lab bust Tuesday, resulting in two arrests, including a 16-year-old, on drug charges, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said.
Detectives said they located an active “shake-and-bake” lab inside an outbuilding at 1244 Hull’s Grove Church Road in Lincolnton while responding to a larceny call at a nearby property.
Deputies said they became suspicious after spotting a person leaving an outbuilding at the residence.
The individual confessed to officers he had an active lab inside the building.
Narcotics investigators responded to the scene a short time later to take over the investigation, which the Sheriff’s Office said is the 20th meth lab bust in the county this year.
The number of Lincoln County busts not only far outweighs meth statistics this year in any other North Carolina county but also exceeds the number of meth labs located in one year throughout agency history.
Officials with the State Crime Lab assisted in cleaning up the drug precursors which the Sheriff’s Office said included Drano, lithium batteries, muriatic acid, ammonium nitrate cold packs, lye and pseudoephedrine.
Those charged in the bust included resident Kenneth Michael Ingle, 28, and Emmanuel Watts, 16, of 7294 Chambers Lane in Vale.
Both face one felony count each of manufacturing a schedule II controlled substance and possession and distribution of meth precursors.
A second resident was served outstanding warrants in connection with an unrelated crime.
Deputies said they charged Robyn Michelle Mellon, 39, also of 7294 Chambers Lane in Vale, with breaking into four tractor-trailers on Cat Square Road in August.
She faces one felony count each of buying and receiving stolen property and possession of stolen goods and has since posted a $3,000 secured bond.
Ingle and Watts each remain behind county bars under a $20,000 bond and are set to appear in court today on the charges.
Detectives M. Burgess and J. Propst investigated Tuesday’s incident.