County deputies raided an operating meth lab on Clet Harvey Rd. in the south county the afternoon of March 10, acting on a tip from child protective investigator with the Department of Children and Families.
The arrest of Daniel Booth, 29, at his residence marked the second case involving methamphetamines in Baker County in a week.
Mr. Booth, along with girlfriend Kaylyn Adams, 27, were inside a shed near the suspect’s trailer home when deputies went to the property about 4:30 that afternoon.
Earlier they met up nearby with John Ring of Lake City, a DCF worker who received a hot line tip that the suspects were cooking meth at the location.
Mr. Booth emerged from the shed as officers approached, and Deputy Brandon Kiser said he located Ms. Adams attempting to hide in what was described as “a small wooded shed beside the residence.”
Inside, officers found an assortment of ingredients used to cook the drug, along with a weighing scale and plastic baggies commonly used to package the drug for sale.
Investigator Randy Crews, part of a regional federal task force, was summoned and inventoried the shed’s contents that included gas cans, brake cleaner, camping fuel, cold medicine and syringes.
Sheriff’s investigator Matt Yarborough noted in his report that several items were in the “cooking” stage and emitting smoke and fumes strong enough that police on the scene moved downwind from them.
An environmental clean-up group was brought in to sweep the shed of dangerous and toxic chemicals. An explosion danger is present when meth labs are operating.
Mr. Booth was booked at county jail for manufacturing meth, possession of meth with intent to sell and possession of the chemicals.
Ms. Adams was released at the scene. Investigator Yarborough said she is Mr. Booth’s live-in girlfriend and they have a child who was at the residence that afternoon.
In an unrelated arrest, two suspects were charged on March 4 with possession of chemicals used to make meth after they were observed by investigators making purchases from one store and going to two others in the area to procure more ingredients.
Investigators Yarborough and Mike Hauge used a confidential informant to track James Chadwick, 18, of Blackbottom and Garrett Follis, 25, of Sanderson as they purchased cold medicine at CVS Pharmacy in downtown Macclenny that afternoon.
The informant was approached by the two because they are listed on the nationwide data base and restricted from buying additional over-the-counter cold medicine pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient.
The investigators monitored activity as the informant, accompanied by Mr. Chadwick and Kayla Blackburn, 24, of Sanderson, make the purchase at CVS.
They then went to Walmart in an unsuccessful attempt to buy drain cleaner, and monitored Mr. Chadwick as he entered Hagan Ace Hardware in Glen St. Mary and emerged with a container he shoplifted.
The investigators then had Cpl. Ben Anderson stop the suspect’s vehicle at US 90 and Taber Blvd., and Mr. Follis attempted to flee on foot with a backpack containing meth ingredients.
He was charged with possession of a smoking pipe with crack cocaine residue in a pants pocket, in addition to possession of chemicals and resisting arrest.
Mr. Chadwick was booked for possessing chemicals and stealing the drain cleaner.
Ms. Blackburn was released without charges.
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