Children found locked in bedroom in meth lab bust - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Children found locked in bedroom in meth lab bust

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James Lowell West (Source: Lexington County Detention Center) James Lowell West (Source: Lexington County Detention Center)
WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Officers with the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services on Friday, seized a methamphetamine laboratory that was being operated at a home on Edmund Highway near West Columbia.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said NET officers arrested Tren Ladell Browder, 42,  Kinsli Jaid Bruce, 21, Amanda Elizabeth Greene, 25, and James Lowell West, 32.

Officers arrested Browder and Bruce on a charge of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it, Metts said.

Officers arrested Greene and West on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it, unlawfully altering pseudoephedrine, exposing a child to a methamphetamine laboratory and unlawful conduct towards a child by a legal custodian.

Browder, Bruce, Greene and West all were being held on Friday at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting bond hearings.

At about 11 a.m. on Friday, South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services agents went the home in order to arrest West on an arrest warrant for violating the conditions of his probation, Metts said.

Agents with the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services found West hiding in a closet in a bedroom at the Edmund Highway home, Metts said.

The agents saw drug paraphernalia that was being used to ingest methamphetamine at the home. The agents also found the 3-year-old girl and 16-month-old boy locked in another bedroom at the home.

Agents with the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services requested that the Lexington County Sheriff's Department and NET help further investigate the incident, Metts said.

Deputies and agents with the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services conducted a traffic stop on a Honda Accord that was owned by a person who lives at the Edmund Highway home after Bruce drove the car past the home when she saw marked patrol cars at the residence, Metts said. Browder was a passenger in the car.

Officers found a used needle in Browder's backpack and two digital scales in the passenger compartment of the Honda Accord, Metts said. Officers found methamphetamine in Bruce's pocketbook.

NET officers executed a search warrant at the Edmund Highway home and found two reaction vessels that Greene and West actively were using to manufacture methamphetamine at the home as well as about six grams of methamphetamine, Metts said. Officers found the methamphetamine and reaction vessels in the home's master bedroom and master bathroom.

Deputies contacted the South Carolina Department of Social Services, which placed the 3-year-old girl and 16-month-old boy in a relative's custody, Metts said.

The two children were placed in the relative's custody after a physician at Lexington Medical Center determined that the children had not been physically harmed by their exposure to the methamphetamine laboratory.

NET officers dismantled and safely disposed of the two reaction vessels that were being used to manufacture methamphetamine at the Edmund Highway home, Metts said.

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. NET is comprised of officers from the Lexington County Sheriff's Department, Batesburg-Leesville Police Department and Lexington Police Department.

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