William Deaderick, Michael L Ledford, and Carla Tapp
William Deaderick, Michael L Ledford, and Carla Tapp

House Fire Becomes Meth Lab Investigation

Three Arrested After House Fire In Jonesborough Turns Into Meth Lab Investigation

September 21, 2012 According to Sheriff Ed Graybeal deputies and Limestone Volunteer Fire Department responded to 112 Bitner Lane on a house fire. After the fire was contained there were components of a meth lab located in and around the residence.

After the investigation it was discovered that two children ages 3 and 6 were in the house at the time of the fire. The scene was then decontaminated by the Meth Task Force, and three were placed into custody on Meth and Child abuse related charges. Those arrested at the scene were as follows:

William Deaderick W/M age 27 of Jonesborough, Michael L Ledford W/M Age 27, of Elizabethton, and Carla Tapp W/F age 27 of Limestone.

All three are being held on a $100,000 dollar bond with the arraignment be set in Sessions Court Monday.

Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force - 1 877 TNN-Meth - www.rid-meth.org

Methamphetamine has been identified as the largest drug threat by most law enforcement professionals in the country. It is a highly addictive - meth destroys the addict, the homes where they manufacture their drug, children, and family members. It is harmful to everyone in the community where it is allowed to exist.

Known as "Ice", pure methamphetamine in this form can be almost transparent, making it look like ice. Meth became a popular drug because it can be manufactured with common household products, the "high" is more powerful and lasts longer than most drugs. Meth has also been heavily marketed by major drug trafficking organizations, and the addictive qualities of Meth are among the strongest of any known drug. In the late 1990's Tennessee became one of the largest producers of clandestine Meth labs in the country.

2010 is a Record Year for Meth Seizures in Tennessee.

The 2,082 Meth Lab Seizures in Tennessee during 2010 surpassed the previous record of 1,559 by over 520 labs! The prior record was achieved in 2004, before the Meth Free Tennessee Act and Combat Meth Act were passed on state and federal levels. There have been 11,149 meth lab seizures in Tennessee since 1999! There are a few reasons for the increase, but the primary reason for the increase in meth lab seizures is that criminals have adapted to the measures that were placed in effect by the legislation passed in 2005.

Smurf groups have developed throughout the state and nation. These loosely formed Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO's) are populated by meth addicts, prescription drug abusers, and other criminals. They use the Shake and Bake Manufacturing Method predominantly because of its ease, speed, and portability. Some of the largest of these local DTO's are sponsored by known gang members. Police efforts have also contributed to the increase. Law Enforcement officers increasingly use the Tennessee Meth Intelligence System (TMIS) to identify offenders and their associates. TMIS use is up 492% from 2007 to 2010!

The result of this use is not only meth seizures; it includes more arrests of offenders and more children rescued from the meth cooks. There have been 1,835 arrests reported so far for 2010. Established criminal activities and methods, coupled with increased law enforcement activity and community awareness will result in continued high seizure rates in Tennessee in 2011. Current projections are for seizures to level off at 2,376 meth lab related seizures in 2011.

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