Meth bust training uncovers alleged lab in Monroe County

Meth bust training uncovers alleged lab in Monroe County

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"This is probably, if not the biggest meth lab, then one of the bigger meth labs that I've seen," says Monroe County Detective Doug Brannon. "This is probably, if not the biggest meth lab, then one of the bigger meth labs that I've seen," says Monroe County Detective Doug Brannon.
Pictures from the bust show plastic bottles used to cook meth. Pictures from the bust show plastic bottles used to cook meth.
Training for the officers includes looking through trash. They're learning to view everyday items in a new light. Training for the officers includes looking through trash. They're learning to view everyday items in a new light.

By DENAE D'ARCY
6 News Anchor/Reporter

MADISONVILLE (WATE) - Monroe County sheriff's deputies turned training for methamphetamine busts into a hands-on lesson beyond their expectations Monday afternoon.

Officers from Saint Mary County, Maryland are in Madisonville to shadow the deputies and take information back to their newly formed task force.

As the group went to serve a warrant for probation violation to Rusty Duckett, 46, they found a surprise.

"This is probably, if not the biggest meth lab, then one of the bigger meth labs that I've seen," says Monroe County Detective Doug Brannon.

Pictures from the bust show firearms, plastic bottles used to cook meth, batteries, decongestant pills and numerous other types of drug paraphernalia and cooking materials.

Duckett fled the scene and is still wanted by officers.

Training for the officers includes looking through trash. They're learning to view everyday items in a new light.

In one trash can, officers found cotton swabs that turned out to have meth residue on them.

Trainers taught the officers that drug cookers often use cotton swabs to scoop out material from the bottle necks where meth is prepared.

"Another ingredient that they have to have is coffee filters. They use these as a filtering system just like you would a coffee pot," explains undercover Officer Conway Mason.

Mason also warns citizens who find plastic bottles with tubing attached to steer clear and call authorities because they could be used to make meth. That means they're combustible and dangerous.

Monroe County deputies says meth is becoming more prevalent in East Tennessee because it's easy to make.

"Anyone that is capable of basic reading and writing can gather the materials and make it themselves," Brannon says.

Officers with Monroe County and Saint Mary County, Maryland will continue training together for the rest of the week.

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