, 2014

Alleged meth lab busted in White Stone

by Audrey Thomasson

WHITE STONE—Investigators from a multi-jurisdictional drug task force team last week uncovered an alleged methamphetamine lab operating in a White Stone neighborhood.

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Sheriff’s investigators and state hazmat teams raided this White Stone home last week and removed a meth lab operation.

Investigators raided 113 Sandlin Drive about 11 a.m. Friday and found two adults and three children living in the home along with all the ingredients to make methamphetamine.

Jennifer George, 32, was arrested on unrelated charges of failure to appear in court and is being held in Lancaster jail. Her father, John George, 59, also was at the home but has not been charged.

Authorities indicated additional charges are pending the report of a multi-jurisdictional grand jury due to convene January 9.

Three children, ages 14, 8 and 2, were removed from the home by Social Services.

On December 6, another family member, John George Jr., 23, was arrested for operating a mobile meth lab out of his car.

Lancaster sheriff’s department investigator Joan Kent said meth was being manufactured at the location in what is known as “shake and bake,” a one-pot method that can be set up anywhere, including in a car. Because it is highly explosive, a meth lab or the bottle it was mixed in can be deadly, she said.

“It’s like a bomb,” Kent explained. Had the meth exploded in the trailer or as a state hazmat team removed it from the home, Kent said it would have engulfed some 935 square feet.

According to Kent, methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug made from legal ingredients including pseudoephedrine, a commonly used drug in the treatment of nasal and sinus congestion. Elaborate lab equipment was once needed to make the drug. However, the one-pot method has revolutionized its manufacture and escalated its use.

While Kent said the White Stone methamphetamine-making operation is the first found in Lancaster, authorities believe the problem is escalating and is a possible danger to citizens.

Kent said users need only one soda or water bottle to create a highly explosive meth lab. They often discard the flammable bottle in the trash or on the street where anyone could come into contact with it. She advised citizens not to pick up any bottle that contains brown sludge at the bottom or pieces of metal floating in liquid, but to call the sheriff’s department or county emergency management services so that a hazmat team can dispose of it safely.

Assisting the drug task force were teams from Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s regional hazmat operation, Lancaster County Emergency Management Services, the White Stone Volunteer Fire Department and sheriff’s deputies from Northumberland, Richmond and Lancaster counties.

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