published Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

McMinn operation grabs 22 pot plants, 3 meth labs

  • photo
    McMinn County Sheriff Deputies Guy McGill and Doug Benton process meth lab components discovered on County Road 177 during the "Wipeout" Crime Suppression Operation Tuesday.
    Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A countywide law enforcement operation Tuesday night in McMinn County netted 22 marijuana plants, three methamphetamine labs and four arrests, with more pending, the sheriff says.

Arrested in the operation, named “Wipeout” and running from 5:30 p.m. until midnight, were James Spurling, who was charged with initiation of manufacturing meth, possession of legend drugs and drug paraphernalia, said Sheriff Joe Guy.

Three suspects also were arrested on outstanding warrants: Ricky Charles for failure to appear and violation of community corrections, Manuel Brady for child support attachment, and Steve Borden for child support attachment, Guy said.

Charges are pending on another meth lab found on County Road 482 and on 22 marijuana plants, with a value estimated at more than $20,000, seized near Highway 68, the sheriff said.

“McMinn County doesn’t have the severe crime problems that some other areas have,” said Guy. “And I want to keep it that way. But meth and other drugs continue to be a problem. So we want to be proactive, and let the criminals know we are actively pursuing them.”

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