Tips received in response to Facebook postings by Jackson County Deputy Sheriffs led to the arrest of two men Tuesday night wanted for allegedly operating a clandestine methamphetamine lab discovered during a search last Thursday at a Statts Mill Road residence.
Arrested in Ripley by Sheriff’s Department Lt. Todd Roberts, Deputies George Burnem and Bryan Varney and Sgt. Clyde Kenny of the Ripley Police Department were Casey S. Cummings, 27, and Matthew R, Murray, 25, both of 4117 Statts Mill Road, Statts Mill.
Detective Ross Mellinger’s (lead investigator) criminal complaint indicates that after receiving information from numerous sources since the fall months of 2012, a search warrant was executed at the Cummings’ residence by Mellinger and other officers, where Murray was also reported residing, at around 7:42 p.m. on January 31, 2013.
Officers found what Mellinger termed “an enormous amount of methamphetamine-related components and extensive evidence of continuous methamphetamine production.”
Included were Coleman fuel, mason jars, plastic bottles filled with ammonium nitrate crystals and lithium strips, acetone, crushed pseudoephedrine tablets, vinyl gloves, empty “Cold Pack” packages, digital scales, lithium batteries, mason jars containing various liquids, vinyl tubing connected lids, coffee filters, pipe cutters and baggies containing extracted meth components consistent with the “shake and bake, one-pot method” of manufacturing meth.
While no one was at the dwelling when the warrant was executed, investigators found evidence placing both Cummings and Murray as residents.
Officers believed they had just missed Cummings and Murray at the dwelling by mere minutes.
The two were eventually located and arrested in Ripley Tuesday night through tips received in response to Facebook posting by investigators.
Both Cummings and Murray were arraigned on the felony charges of operating a clandestine drug laboratory by Magistrate Jackie Casto who set bond at $250,000 for each man.
Cummings and Murray remain lodged in the South Central Regional Jail in lieu of bond and pending further court action.