Meth Lab

On Wednesday, February 8, 2012 Sheriff Randy Courson received information from a concerned citizen in reference to some possible methamphetamine manufacturing taking place at the residence of Heather Sandlin, age 30, at 1426 Sardis Church Road. Sheriff Randy Courson and agents from the South Georgia Drug Task Force conducted surveillance on the residence. Sheriff Courson observed Sandlin and a male at the rear porch area of the residence. The male was later identified as Shannon Bennett, age 40, of Lake Park. The two appeared to be manufacturing methamphetamine by the method commonly known as “the one pot” or “shake and bake”.   Investigators with the Echols County Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant for the residence. At approximately 12:20 am. Sheriff’s Deputies and agents from the South Georgia Drug Task Force executed the warrant at the residence. Upon entering the residence, Deputies and Agents were immediately overwhelmed by a strong chemical odor, which was indicative of manufacturing of methamphetamine. Several doors inside the residence were locked and had to be breached to reach the master bedroom area of the residence, where Sandlin was located.   Bennett was discovered hiding in the bathroom where deputies and agents discovered an active one-pot methamphetamine lab. Both suspects were taken into custody and immediately removed from the residence for safety purposes.  Certified clandestine lab personnel from the Echols County Sheriff’s Office and South Georgia Drug Task Force had to wear protective chemical suits and breathing apparatuses while processing the methamphetamine lab inside the residence. The Echols County Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to the scene to assist due to the volatility and potential explosive nature of the methamphetamine lab. Evidence was seized from the residence along with items commonly used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Sandlin and Bennett were both arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of tools during commission of a crime. A previous investigation which resulted in a search warrant at the same residence was executed on November 8, 2011 which resulted in the arrest of several individuals for the sale of methamphetamine. Also discovered was components which were consistent methamphetamine manufacturing. Sheriff Courson would like to thank the South Georgia Drug Task Force and the Echols County Volunteer Fire department for their prompt response and assistance rendered at the scene.