Meth lab busted in Tuolumne

June 13, 2003 12:00 am
Tuolumne County Sheriff's Sgt. Jim Mele (left) talks to one of his officers before the suited man enters a shed full of hazardous chemicals believed to be part of a methamphetamine-making operation uncovered last night near Tuolumne. (Photo by Amy Alozo, The Union Democrat/copyright 2003).
Tuolumne County Sheriff's Sgt. Jim Mele (left) talks to one of his officers before the suited man enters a shed full of hazardous chemicals believed to be part of a methamphetamine-making operation uncovered last night near Tuolumne. (Photo by Amy Alozo, The Union Democrat/copyright 2003).

By AMY LINDBLOM

Four people, including three from one family, were arrested last night after narcotics agents discovered methamphetamine labs in a trailer and shed on Hershey Road East near Tuolumne.

Brothers Donald Ray Carr, 50, David Charles Carr, 43, and David's daughter, Davie Charlie Carr, 22, all of the 18300 block of Hershey Road East, and Kenneth Andrew Hyde, 21, 17100 block of Valley Oak Drive, Soulsbyville, were all booked on suspicion of manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of chemicals to manufacture methamphetamine.

David Carr and Hyde were also booked on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance.

All four were jailed and were this morning held in lieu of $200,000 bail each.

Another woman and two teens living on the property were not arrested, nor are they suspected of taking part in the manufacturing, said Sgt. Jim Mele, head of the Tuolumne Narcotics Team. The woman watched from the front porch as officers searched the property and dismantled the labs.

Mele said his officers had a warrant to search the property, which they served about 4:30 p.m. yesterday, with patrol deputies and a state parole agent. When officers found the labs, the four were arrested and taken to the county jail.

Another man, Timothy Law-rence Rose, 23, was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication and placed in a patrol car while deputies completed their search.

But while in the car, Rose kicked out a rear passenger window. He was taken to the county jail and also booked on suspicion of felony vandalism, resisting arrest and attempted escape.

He was held this morning in lieu of $5,000 bail.

The Hershey Road property was littered with trash piles, broken appliances, bathroom fixtures, tires, lawn tools, household garbage, old hot tubs and various working and non-working vehicles.

About 7:30 last night, three narcotics officers — protected from dangerous drug-making chemicals by hazardous material suits — scoured the metal shed first.

In it they found flasks, homemade funnels, glass saucepans, hot plates, disposable gloves, liquids in old beer bottles and water bottles, and chemicals.

Some of the chemicals found were those typically used to make methamphetamine, such as lye, red phosphorus and lighter fluid, said TNT Officer Ken Diaz. Other chemicals brought out for cataloging were by-products of the manufacturing process, Diaz said.

One flask contained a yellow liquid that Diaz said was actually two chemicals, one likely lantern fuel, and the other something Diaz could not immediately identify.

Identifying, cataloging and photographing all the items took about 12 hours. After the items were seized, a hazardous materials cleanup crew took the rest of the noxious materials away, around 4 this morning, Sgt. Mele said.

He said a complete analysis of all the items found will be performed by Department of Justice criminalists, and a report sent to the sheriff's department to be used in a possible prosecution of the Carrs and Hyde.

Mele estimated the lab was capable of making two ounces of methamphetamine at a time, with an estimated street value of $1,200 to $2,400.

This is not the first time the Carrs have been arrested.

According to the Tuolumne County District Attorney's Office, Donald Carr pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance in 1994. David Carr has more than 10 criminal convictions for possession and manufacturing of a controlled substances going back to 1992.

Davie Carr has drug convictions going back to 1995 as a juvenile. On Oct. 2, 2000, she was convicted of misdemeanor child cruelty in Stockton Municipal Court. In April, she was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance. That case is still in the Tuolumne County court system.

Kenneth Andrew Hyde has no criminal record.

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