published Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Two arrested in Whitfield County on running a meth lab

A high-speed car chase Wednesday led to the arrest of two suspects charged with running a meth lab, according to a news release.

Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office deputies were conducting speed checks along county roads and I-75. Around 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday, officers clocked a gray Honda going 85 mph while headed southbound on I-75.

A deputy attempted to stop the vehicle for speeding, but the driver sped up and began throwing what appeared to be paper items from the window of the car. During the chase, the suspect drove in excess of 100 mph, the release said.

Just south of West Nance Springs Road, the vehicle veered to the right of the interstate and collided with a tree. The vehicle’s two occupants fled the scene, but were taken into custody after a short chase on foot.

Officers checked the registration and found that the vehicle had been stolen from East Ridge, Tenn., several days ago. While performing a search of the vehicle, deputies discovered a “shake and bake” meth lab. Dangerous chemicals were removed from the Honda and turned over to a hazardous material team from Atlanta, Ga. Two officers involved in the arrest had to be decontaminated after exposure to the chemicals.

The two suspects have been identified as James W. Mears, 34, of Spring City, Tenn., and Christopher L. Coleman, 37, of Hixson, Tenn.

Both are being held for violation of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act and for bringing stolen property into the state of Georgia.

In addition, Mears faces charges for multiple traffic violations.

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