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Meth lab at Travel Lodge, two more suspects sought

A 24-yar-old woman from Raiford was arrested and two more suspects are sought in connection with a meth lab discovered at the Macclenny Travel Lodge by the sheriff’s office on July 22.

Sandra Jean Cooper faces charges of tampering with evidence, producing meth and possession of meth  ingredients. Police were summoned to one of two hotel rooms she checked into at the motel when Ms. Cooper texted suicidal threats to her boyfriend, who in turn called 9-1-1.

The boyfriend, Justin Thomas of Fernandina Beach, was on the phone with Ms. Cooper when responding Deputy Michael Antonini arrived. The officer spoke to him, saying that Ms. Cooper sent him a photo of a syringe and meth and threatened to overdose.

The suspect would soon tell police she did not want to kill herself and the text was a ploy to draw her boyfriend to Macclenny, according to Deputy Antonini’s account of the incident. When Mr. Thomas told her he notified police, she said she flushed the drugs, syringe and coffee filters down the toilet, the officer said.

Ms. Cooper explained she got the drugs from a man and woman at the Country Club Lounge two nights prior. Their names were not released by sheriff’s investigators.

The trio spent the night “partying,” Ms. Cooper said, and she rented the neighboring room in the morning. In the other room, deputies were greeted with a smokey haze and a strong chemical odor.

There they found a bottle with meth residue inside as well as other common meth-making materials like pseudoephedrine, drain cleaner and batteries as well as other evidence, including a prescription for Sarah Parrish.

Ms. Cooper’s bond was set July 29 at $22,500.

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