Lincoln County Sheriff’s detectives said they unearthed the first two meth labs of 2014 — one going up in flames — while investigating a case related to property crimes Friday on the county’s western end.
Upon arriving on scene along N.C. 10 in Vale, Detectives Matt Burgess and Jon Propst located a group of people close to a wooded area off the roadway, an agency release said.
As detectives neared the individuals, they attempted to flee the property, throwing a one-pot lab onto the grass, setting it on fire, deputies said.
Fire crews with Northbrook Volunteer Fire Department responded to extinguish the blaze.
Detectives later searched a nearby mobile home, located at 8830 N.C. 10 North, for additional evidence, and located a second one pot lab in the case, the release said.
Officials with the State Bureau of Investigation arrived Saturday to clean up and process the scene after a deputy guarded the location Friday night to ensure no one tampered with the area.
A resident of the home, 44-year-old Rodney Scott Wright, was jailed for charges from an unrelated case.
He faces one felony count of breaking and entering a building, larceny after breaking and entering and possession of stolen goods.
Deputies said Wright broke into a storage building “on or about” Jan. 2 on the 7800 block of N.C. 27 West.
He is accused of taking multiple metal items in the incident including lockers, a cooking stove and bed rails, the release said.
Deputies questioned additional people at the scene Friday regarding the two labs but released them “pending further investigation,” the Sheriff’s Office said.
Wright remains in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $20,000 secured bond and will appear in district court today on the theft charges.
Narcotics officers investigated 22 incidents across the county last year involving meth labs.