3 charged in 'super meth bust' in Claiborne County

3 charged in 'super meth bust' in Claiborne County

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Officials believe lithium was being stripped from packs of batteries found at the bust. Officials believe lithium was being stripped from packs of batteries found at the bust.

6 News Reporter

TAZEWELL (WATE) -- Three people have been arrested and charged Monday in a "super meth lab" bust, according to the Claiborne County Sheriff's Department and the Tennessee Meth Task Force.

Authorities say there was enough material to make around two pounds of meth worth about $100,000. The bust follows a two-year investigation. 

The suspects are:

  • Casey Lemarr, 19 - charged with possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm
  • Whitney Lambdin, 21 - charged with drug possession
  • Michael Ryerson, 34 - charged with drug possession and promotion

The suspects were arrested at a mobile home. The meth making ingredients were found in a nearby barn on Ridge Road.

Claiborne County authorities are calling Monday's undercover operation the largest meth bust in the county. 

What they discovered at first looked like a bunch of trash, but three key ingredients were present.

First, there were at least six bags of sudafed pills, as well as pills that were crushed up ready to used. 

Lithium was also present. Officials believe it was being stripped from packs of batteries found at the bust. 

The third ingredient was anhydrous ammonia contained in a tank. All these items were in a barn, buried about four feet underground.

"It's hard to find sudafed and the materials to make meth any more. As you can see, the volumes speak for itself," Sheriff David Ray says.

Once the Tennessee Meth Task Force and local authorities are done investigating and taking pictures, members of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration will take all the materials away to destroy them. 

Sheriff Ray says on average, one person dies every week from a meth overdose between, Claiborne, Bell and Lee counties.

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