Meth lab found in home of peeping tomsPublished 12:52pm Thursday, May 10, 2012
What local law enforcement officials called a “big meth lab” was found Wednesday in the home of two Florala men scheduled to go to trial this month for secretly watching their customers at Westside Video and Tans as they dressed and undressed while tanning.
Members of the 22nd Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force, assisted by the Covington County Incident Response Team, on Wednesday executed a search warrant at the Eighth Avenue home of Ricardo Perez, 38, and Timothy Earl Townsend, 41. DTF agent s were able to obtain a search warrant after they received information that Perez and Townsend were both manufacturing and selling narcotics out of their home.
The incident response team executed the entry and detention of the suspects.
DTF’s search yielded an active “one-pot” methamphetamine cook; more than 1,000 grams of methamphetamine oil in various containers; finished product methamphetamine; marijuana; hypodermic needles; digital scales; and other chemicals and paraphernalia used in the manufacture, sale, and ingestion of methamphetamine.
DTF Commander Mark Odom described the lab as larger than average.
“The one-pot labs we are finding do not normally have a large amount of (meth) oil present. For a one-pot production lab, this was a lot. That leads me to believe these two guys were not only using, but selling meth.”
Odom said there also is an ongoing investigation into both men possibly supplying drugs to juveniles.
“We have at least one situation that we have enough evidence to charge Ricardo Perez with furnishing drugs to a minor,” Odom said. “We have more interviews scheduled to determine if there will be anymore charges of that nature added.”
Perez was charged with trafficking a controlled substance, manufacturing a controlled substance 1st degree, furnishing drugs to a minor, possession of marijuana 2nd degree, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $790,000.
Townsend was charged with trafficking a controlled substance, manufacturing a controlled substance 1st degree, distribution of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, promoting prison contraband, possession of marijuana 2nd degree, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $940,000.
Both Townsend and Perez are scheduled to go to court during the criminal term set to begin May 21 on charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal surveillance. They were out on bond on those 2010 charges at the time of their arrest on Wednesday.
District Attorney Walt Merrell stated that a bond revocation would be filed Thursday.
“Although I’m sure the bond amounts on these two will be very high, I want to ensure they do not get out of jail any time soon,” he said. “If successful, this revocation will hold them without bond.”
Odom expressed hiss thanks to Florala Police Chief Sonny Bedsole, the Covington County Incident Response Team, and the Covington County Jail for their assistance in the case.