Meth bust: Four individuals part of investigation in Decatur, Seminole Co.

Published 5:58 pm Friday, December 5, 2014

The Decatur County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division is investigating a group of individuals for conspiracy to make methamphetamines after finding the precursors for meth at a Decatur County residence.

Trent Baxter Hyatt, 39, of 214 Mt. Olive Church Road in Bainbridge, and Joel Stephen Gray, Jr., 27, or 2798 Burlane Road in Donalsonville, were arrested Monday evening and charged with conspiracy to make meth. Gray was also charged with possession of meth.

Miles Dustin Perry, 32, of 2276 Jack Miles Road in Donalsonville, and Roxana Jo Knechtel, 30, of 110 Gale Drive in Bainbridge, were arrested Tuesday evening and charged with conspiracy to make meth.

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“Originally we went [to 110 Gale Drive] to arrest a subject who had felony warrants and had been reported at that resident 15-20 minutes earlier,” said DCSO Investigator Brian Donalson. “Then we found meth-related evidence behind the residence.”

According to the incident report, Monday, investigators found “what appeared to be an old methamphetamine lab that someone had attempted to burn,” but no one was at the residence. Upon returning later and searching a vehicle, investigators found all of the precursors for a meth lab, including: salt, coffee filters, hoses, Coleman fuel, buckets, gloves, lithium batteries and 24-hour Sudafed, according to the incident report.

Donalson said that there are likely four-to-five more individuals involved with the conspiracy.

“Whenever you manufacture methamphetamine, you have to have the precursors for it such as the Coleman fuel, the pills, the batteries and everything,” Donalson said. “What we’ve done is gone back to the pharmacies and an online source we have and pulled and checked all of these individuals’ names who had bought pills in the last 24-48 hours prior to us going in to that residence on Monday evening, and what has transpired is that all of those people arrested — plus some more — had purchased items that were either sold or given to the group arrested. What we’re doing is going back and charging conspiracies on those who purchased the products.”

Donalson is working to prove the other individuals’ involvement.

“If I can prove someone bought Coleman fuel that morning and that they provided it to them, then they’ll get tied into it,” Donalson said.

The individuals were traveling throughout Southeast Alabama and Southwest Georgia purchasing cold pills that contained pseudoephedrine to get around the law that prohibits large purchases of the drug, Donalson said.