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FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2007
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Agents arrest
4 in meth raid

Lawrence investigators find 18-month-old
child in home with 2 active labs

By Kristen Bishop
kbishop@decaturdaily.com 340-2443

TRINITY — Lawrence County narcotics agents kept about 56 grams of meth off the streets and arrested four people after finding two active methamphetamine labs at a Trinity home Tuesday night, said police.

An 18-month-old child was living among the dangerous chemicals at the residence, said Drug Task Force Commander Amard Martin.

Officers arrested James Allen Farnsworth, 24, and Valerie Gooch Wright, 29, both of 359 Lawrence County 457, Trinity; Eathan Butler, 26, of 225 Pine Circle, Hartselle; and Tina Marie McCabe, 31, of 1975 Lawrence County 319, Trinity.

All face charges of first-degree unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, second-degree possession of marijuana, chemical endangerment of a child and possession of drug paraphernalia.

On purchase lists

Authorities became suspicious after the four alleged meth cooks repeatedly showed up on lists of people purchasing pseudoephedrine, an over-the-counter cold medication as well as a common ingredient in methamphetamines.

Stores have been tracking and restricting sales of the decongestant since the state passed a law in 2005 requiring stores to keep the drugs in a locked case or behind the counter. Anyone wanting to purchase the tablets must present identification and sign for the medication.

Agents had been investigating the four suspects for about six months before obtaining a warrant to search the residence at 359 Lawrence County 457, Trinity.

During the raid Tuesday at about 6:20 p.m., officers found an active meth lab in the home and one in a detached garage, said Martin.

The amount of chemicals found in the home would have been enough to make about 56 grams of meth, he said.

The Morgan County Drug Task Force was called to help dismantle the lab. The Lawrence County Sheriff's Department and the Moulton Police Department assisted in the investigation.

The Department of Human Resources removed the child from the home.

Farnsworth, Butler and McCabe remained in Lawrence County Jail on Thursday in lieu of $71,000 bond each.

The jail released Wright, who was about 7 months pregnant, on the same bond amount Thursday morning, said Martin.

Farnsworth, Wright and Butler also face manufacturing charges in Madison County. The same child was present when they were previously arrested, said Martin.

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