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FRIDAY, JANUARY 20, 2006
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Authorities find bathtub meth lab

By Holly Hollman
DAILY Staff Writer

hhollman@decaturdaily.com 340-2445

ELKMONT — Limestone authorities weren't expecting that while searching for stolen four-wheelers they would find an active meth lab in a man's bathtub.

Sheriff Mike Blakely said investigators have been searching for about 10 four-wheelers stolen since December. On Thursday, a suspect whom investigators wanted to question visited a home on Sandlin Road.

Investigators arrived at the home after the suspect had left, Blakely said.

"While talking to the resident about our suspect, they found the resident had a gun in his pocket and crystal meth," Blakely said.

Investigators searched the home at 21215 Sandlin Road, Elkmont, and found an active crystal methamphetamine lab in the bathtub, Blakely said.

Because of the dangers of the chemicals involved in making meth and the possibility of an explosion, Limestone requested a HAZMAT unit from Huntsville clear the house.

Authorities arrested the resident, Byron "Chemo" Slaton, 23, Blakely said.

Authorities charged him with first-degree manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and second-degree possession of marijuana. He was in the Limestone County Jail on Thursday night and was to have his bond set.

"The funny thing in all this is that the suspect we thought may have stolen the four-wheelers who led us to this meth lab, turns out he's not involved in the thefts," Blakely said.

Investigators received a tip and found three four-wheelers in a storage unit on Fort Hampton Road, Blakely said. Limestone authorities arrested three men in connection with the thefts.

Limestone charged Jonathan Kirby, 22, of 17304 Bridgeforth Road, Tanner, with two counts of first-degree theft of property and one count of second-degree theft of property for allegedly taking two four-wheelers on Stewart Road and one on Brownsferry Street and a mini-bike on Happy Hollow Road.

Jimmy Lee Johnson, 20, of 17975 Happy Hollow Road is charged with one count each of first-degree and second-degree theft of property for allegedly taking the four-wheeler on Brownsferry Street and mini-bike on Happy Hollow Road.

Damien Kenyontist Sims, 27, of 11357 Stewart Road, Tanner, is charged with one count of first-degree receiving stolen property for allegedly receiving the four-wheeler taken from Brownsferry Street.

They were in jail and were to have bond set Thursday night.

Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt said the men allegedly hid the three four-wheelers in the unused storage unit, and may be involved in a four-wheeler theft in Cullman.

"They're not saying what they were planning to do with the four-wheelers," McNatt said. "They did say they had traded two for work on another. Our investigation is continuing."

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