Lawrenceburg Now

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Agents Begin New Year With Several Busts

   Drug agents with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department Crime Suppression Unit have begun the new year in a successful manner, dismantling several meth labs and making arrests in association with some of those cases.

   On January 5 agents report a traffic stop was made at 134 Old Florence Pulaski Road that was connected to recent surveillance of a couple suspected to be involved in drug activities.

Agents indicate that the couple, Tonya and Christopher Windham, had been purchasing precursor chemicals associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine.

   Tonya Windham was placed under arrest on an outstanding warrant for violation of probation. During a search incident to her arrest, agents report finding that she was in possession of a coffee filter that contained meth.

Agents report the couple consented to a search of their vehicle. Inside, agents report finding coffee filters, methamphetamine, and items used to smoke/snort the drug.

   Since neither would confess to whom the drugs and paraphernalia belonged, both Windhams were placed under arrest and transported to the Lawrence County Detention Center for incarceration.

   At the time of his arrest, agents report Christopher Windham had been free on bond in connection with pending 2010 charges of manufacture of methamphetamine.

   Neither Windham would grant consent for a search of their home, therefore agents obtained a search warrant issued by Lawrence County General Sessions Judge Patricia McGuire. During the search agents report finding a meth lab along with “a substantial amount of methamphetamine finished product and items of drug paraphernalia.”

    Both Windhams appeared before McGuire in General Sessions Court on January 6. McGuire set bond for each at more than $100,000.

   Agents undertook an operation at 11 Chance Road, Leoma, after a call was placed to Lawrence Central Dispatch, reporting possible drug activity. When they arrived at the home, agents report they spoke with an elderly female resident.

She told them that her “skin was burning and that she could not breathe because of weird smelling fumes coming from a bedroom located in the rear of the single wide trailer.” Realizing that the smell was “consistent with a meth lab” agents quickly removed the woman from the home.

They then reentered the home and found an active meth lab inside the specified bedroom. They report that, “due to the volatile nature of meth labs, they secured the scene and made sure that no chemicals were in a reactionary stage.”

   At that point members of the Center Point Fire Department were dispatched to the scene, as well as members of the Lawrence County Ambulance Service and the Lawrenceburg Fire Department Hazardous Material Unit. The air in the trailer was carefully monitored until it was deemed safe to reenter the home.

   As a result of that operation, agents report they will be placing charges against resident Paul Pawelko that include meth charges as well as reckless endangerment.

   A third operation was undertaken on January 9 when agents made their way to a home situated at 154 Rigling Road, Loretto. A tip had led agents to investigate possible meth activity.

   After gaining consent to conduct a search of the premises, agents report finding numerous items of drug paraphernalia along with a meth lab that had been dismantled. In the wake of this find, agents report meth related charges will be placed against resident Christopher Barth, 25.

    Reports indicate Barth had been arrested just the day before on aggravated assault charges after he allegedly pointed a handgun at a neighbor. In addition, agents report they seized two Lauderdale County Alabama sheriff’s uniforms from Barth’s bedroom. They were later returned to that agency.


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