On Wednesday, Aug. 8, agents were following a tip that a marijuana operation was located at 279 Chloe Chase Drive in LaFayette.
“While enroute to that residence, we could see in plain view that some more plants were at another residence,” task force Cmdr. Pat Doyle said. “It sticks out like a sore thumb. We knew it wasn’t tomatoes.”
The agents noticed three marijuana plants, which stood nearly six feet tall, under a makeshift green house at 227 Chloe Chase Drive. Resident Michael Jerome Berry was arrested for possession of a controlled substance.
The find gave officials probable cause for a search warrant at the home, which had an additional room used for growing and drying marijuana.
“There was five additional large plants growing inside the residence in a grow room,” Doyle said. Approximately seven pounds of packaged marijuana was also seized, with a potential street value of $18,000.
Officials then discovered four harvested marijuana plants at 279 Chloe Chase Drive, their original destination. There also was one four-foot-tall marijuana plant in a container at the residence. The two residents have been contacted and will be arrested if they fail to turn themselves in.
In another drug bust, task force agents went to 204 Rhyne Road in LaFayette on Tuesday, Aug. 7.
“We obtained probable cause for a search warrant,” Doyle said regarding the follow-up investigation at another location that was conducted following information developed during recent months.
James Thomas Kinsey and David Wayne Kinsey were charged for manufacturing meth. Megan Deann Hammonds of 202 Rhyne Road and Phillip Ray Lindsey of 223 Pledger Parkway were both arrested for possession of meth and marijuana.
“Once we were able to execute that search warrant, inside the residence we started locating components to a clandestine methamphetamine lab.” Doyle said. “We also found some finished (meth) product and a small amount of marijuana. There has been a lot of meth manufactured at that residence.”
Some of the components had been combined into the final stages of meth, but weren’t in a completed usable powder form.
Doyle is uncertain how much meth could have resulted from the materials seized.
The residence has been sealed by officials due to the hazardous nature of meth manufacturing.
The dangerous materials will be separated, packaged and disposed of by a HAZMAT contractor at an undisclosed local site that has a HAZMAT container.
“There is a history (of drug arrests) with several of the people that we arrested,” Doyle said.
Agents also had to dispose of a “dump lab,” which is a small mobile meth operation that was discarded.
Another arrest was made at 214 South Chattanooga St. in LaFayette, where David Thomas Martin was arrested for attempting to order pills over the telephone from another local residence.
Packages of methamphetamine, weighing several grams, were seized at 807 Magnolia Street, resulting in the arrest of Christopher Eugene Parker at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7.
A Chattanooga woman, Maria Lynne Terrell, of 900 Overman St. was arrested for distribution of methamphetamine in separate investigation.
She was observed in Rossville during a meth purchase, according to Doyle.