DCSO investigators arrest husband, wife on meth charges

Published 8:54 pm Friday, September 4, 2015

Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith

Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith

Decatur County Sheriff’s Office investigators broke up a husband and wife meth manufacturing operation after reports of the couple purchasing “unusually large” amounts of pseudoephedrine in the area.

Christopher Dale Smith, 31, and Amanda Brooke Smith, 27, both of Bainbridge, are each charged with unlawful possession of pseudoephedrine, possession of meth, manufacturing meth and conspiracy to manufacture meth. Billy Joe Hand, 33, was also arrested in connection with the couple and charged with conspiracy to make meth.

DCSO Investigator Jason Williams said that there had been several complaints about the couple purchasing a large amount of pseudoephedrine this summer, and Williams received word they were purchasing more this week. Wednesday, DCSO Investigator Pat Trolinger informed Williams of a GPS shoplifting case at the Bainbridge Wal-Mart in which Chris Smith was a suspect. Their investigation led them to find out that Chris Smith had purchased more cold pills and Coleman Liquid Fuel.

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Wednesday evening, investigators located Chris and Amanda Smith with their vehicle at a residence on Slough Loop Road. Williams said that after brief surveillance, the investigators decided to make contact.

Upon approaching the vehicle, Williams said that the investigators saw iodized salt and the liquid fire, items indicative of methamphetamine manufacturing, in the back of the vehicle. They also found packaged meth, ready for use.

“[Chris Smith] basically ended up telling me that there was an active lab in the vehicle,” Williams said. “We found the lab and it was still cooking.”

Williams said that DCSO Investigator Brian Donalson was called in to neutralize the lab to prevent a fire or explosion.

Williams sought warrants adding a charge of conspiracy to manufacture meth on Friday after his investigation led him to another individual who purchased pseudoephedrine for Chris and Amanda Smith, Williams said.

“With [Hand] buying the pills, he conspired to make it with them, and with them using the pills, they conspired with him,” Williams said.