Girl, 5, taken into custody during meth lab bust - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Girl, 5, taken into custody during meth lab bust

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LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

Officers with the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) on Monday, January 13 seized a methamphetamine laboratory that was being operated at a home on Senterfeit Road near Batesburg, Sheriff James R. Metts said.

The South Carolina Department of Social Services took custody of a 5-year-old girl whom officers found at the home. She was later placed with a relative, the sheriff said.

Officers arrested Joey Dean Cockrell, 35, Paul David Doughten, 41, and Patricia Butler England, 41, all of 312 Senterfeit Road.

At about 9:49 a.m. on Monday, deputies went to the home in order to serve Cockrell with a general sessions court bench warrant that was issued for his arrest after he failed to appear on a charge of manufacturing methamphetamine, Metts said. Deputies saw a clear plastic soda bottle inside the home that was being used as a reaction vessel to manufacture methamphetamine, according to the sheriff.

NET officers executed a search warrant at the home, Metts said. Arrest warrants allege that officers found that Cockrell, Doughten and England possessed methamphetamine and manufactured methamphetamine inside the residence.

Arrest warrants further allege that officers found a pit outside the Senterfeit Road home where waste from a methamphetamine laboratory had been burned, Metts said. In addition, arrest warrants allege that officers also found one EIG .22-caliber revolver at the residence.

Arrest warrants also allege that officers found Xanax, a prescription medication that is used to treat persons who suffer from anxiety and panic disorders, and Hydrocodone, a prescription painkiller, at the home, Metts said. 

Officers arrested Cockrell on arrest warrants on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, unlawfully manufacturing methamphetamine in the presence of a child, second-offense unlawfully disposing of waste from a methamphetamine laboratory, unlawfully altering ephedrine or pseudoephedrine from its original condition, possessing less than one gram of methamphetamine, possessing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and unlawful possession of a firearm by a person who has been convicted of a violent crime that is a felony, Metts said. In addition, officers arrested Cockrell on arrest warrants on two counts of possessing a controlled substance.

Officers arrested Doughten on arrest warrants on charges of second-offense manufacturing methamphetamine, unlawfully manufacturing methamphetamine in the presence of a child, second-offense unlawfully disposing of waste from a methamphetamine laboratory, second-offense possessing less than one gram of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a firearm by a person who has been convicted of a violent crime that is a felony, possessing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and unlawfully altering ephedrine or pseudoephedrine from its original condition, Metts said. In addition, officers arrested Doughten on arrest warrants on two counts of possessing a controlled substance.

Officers arrested England on arrest warrants on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, unlawfully manufacturing methamphetamine in the presence of a child, possessing less than one gram of methamphetamine, possessing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, unlawful possession of a firearm by a person who has been convicted of a violent crime that is a felony, second-offense unlawfully disposing of waste from a methamphetamine laboratory and unlawfully altering ephedrine or pseudoephedrine from its original condition, Metts said. In addition, officers arrested England on arrest warrants on two counts of possessing a controlled substance.

Cockrell, Doughten and England were being held on Tuesday, January 14 at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting bond hearings.   

Metts asked anyone with information about illegal drug activity in Lexington County to call the Lexington County Sheriff's Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Citizens also can provide information anonymously by accessing the Crime Tip link on the Sheriff's Department web site (www.lexingtonsheriff.com).

NET is comprised of officers from the Lexington County Sheriff's Department, Batesburg-Leesville Police Department and Lexington Police Department, Metts said. The sheriff and municipal police chiefs implemented NET in 2001 in order to enhance drug enforcement in Lexington County.  

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