CNT busts Chatham Co. meth labs

By Michelle Paynter - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Several people face drug charges after a series of methamphetamine lab busts by the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team.

Just after 10 p.m. Monday night, CNT agents carried out a search warrant in the 400 block of Butler Avenue on Chatham County's south side.

Agents discovered a meth lab with a cook in progress, according to authorities. Agents immediately secured all persons inside the residence and cleared the home for a hazmat team.  
Johnny Lee Anderson, 57, and Melissa Burchard Dockum, 32, both of Savannah, were arrested and charged several felony charges, including manufacturing meth, possession of meth with intent to distribute and second-degree cruelty to children. They're being held at Chatham County Detention Center and are scheduled to appear before a judge on Wednesday.

A 2-year-old child found at the home was placed with family members and the Department of Family Child Services was notified.

"The inherent dangers with the meth lab is not only with the chemicals that are present, but more times than not, this is not their first attempt at it. So you have waste materials throughout the property. They throw it, burn it or keep it in the house to avoid detection. Kids are subject to inhale these vapors or run across it. They don't know. They may ingest it, so it's very dangerous," said CNT's Lt. Russell Smith.

During the past month, CNT has arrested 12 people on meth-related charges and located four meth labs in Chatham County.  

On April 25, Bobby Jason Hughes, 31, and Sarah Jessica Smith, 33, both of Savannah, were arrested after CNT conducted a drug operation at in the 5100 block of Garrard Avenue.  

At that location, CNT agents found an active meth lab and an amount of meth meant for trafficking, according to authorities. Two young children at the home were turned over to family members and DFCS was notified.     

The rise of meth arrests in Chatham County is blamed on a new, quicker cooking method for meth, which involves buying fewer ingredients and going to one store to buy them, according to the CNT.

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