The Scott County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force uncovered an active methamphetamine lab operation in a wooded location above Clinchport.
Scott County Sheriff John Puckett reported that two persons were arrested early Thursday afternoon after law enforcement authorities discovered the “lab” in a remote location off of Mustang Street in Clinchport.
Douglas Brian Lawson, 30, 17120 U.S. Hwy 23 North, Duffield and Pamela Nicole Williams, 30, 328 Justice Lane, Duffield were each charged on July 25 with felony drug counts. Each was charged with manufacturing meth, conspiracy to manufacture meth and possession of Schedule II narcotics.
According to local authorities, if found guilty, the two face a minimum mandatory five-year jail sentence.
Law enforcement authorities were alerted to the meth operation after a relative of Lawson found a drink bottle containing what was called a “bubbling liquid” hidden behind their home in a grill.
Shortly after, police went to the home to search for the pair, who had left just moments before law enforcement officers arrived, explained Lt. Chris Holder of the Scott County Sheriff’s Office. While at the home, officers also secured the lab on site.
Lawson and Williams were found a few minutes later on Beada Lane, located off of Mustang Street in Clinchport. Higher up on the mountain, the pair was nabbed at the site of their outdoor meth operation in a heavily-wooded area.
The road into the area, although it is paved, is almost closed in on the side by encroaching vegetation. There wasn’t enough room on either side for another vehicle nor enough room to turn around a vehicle. So police cruisers driven into the site had to be driven in reverse back to Mustang Street.
Investigators found four grams of cooked meth and 12 ounces of meth oil at the site along with various other ingredients and supplies used to make the narcotic.
Police crept up on the two suspects, who hadn’t seen them, and arrested them approximately 150 yards away from the outdoor lab. Lawson and Williams had cooked meth and drug paraphernalia in their possession at the time of their arrest.
The method used by the two suspects to make methamphetamines, called the “one-pot” method, is not usually known to produce high yields of meth oil. An investigator suggested that the meth produced at the site may have yielded between a half ounce and an ounce at a purity level of 90 percent or higher.
The value of the confiscated drugs and meth oil at Thursday’s bust is estimated between $1,500 and $3,000.
The pair were taken into custody without incident by the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and are currently being held in the Southwest Regional Jail in Duffield.
They will be arraigned Thursday, Aug. 1 at 9:30 a.m. in Scott County General District Court.
Lawson is scheduled to return to court Aug. 20 at 9:30 a.m. to face other drug charges including possession of Schedule I or II drugs, possession of controlled paraphernalia and shoplifting.
The Virginia State Police also assisted in the arrests and the site cleanup.