Officials bust major meth lab

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 3, 2003

More than just fish was cooking Wednesday afternoon when Covington County law enforcers, including the Sheriff's Department, 22nd Judicial Drug Task Force, Gantt Police, and Andalusia Police assisted in the arrest of Ronnie G. Grissett, owner of a methamphetamine lab off US Hwy. 29 in Gantt.

Grissett also owned Grissett's Grocery, which is directly next to his residence on the corner of 29 and Central Street.

According to Officer Raymon Dixon, the meth kitchen was discovered at a fish shack behind the suspect's house. During the time of the arrest, officials also noted the suspect was cooking the meth.

The investigation of a recent vehicle fire led officials to Grissett's residence on Central Street, where the arrest was made, according to the DTF Commander Paul Dean.

"The Covington County Sheriff's Department found items associated with the manufacture of meth labs in the vehicle fire," Dean said. "After an extensive look through the items, names were found which led authorities to Central Street. A consent to search the premises was obtained, and Ronnie G. Grissett was charged with manufacturing in the 1st Degree, drug trafficking, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Grissett was escorted to Covington County Jail, and bail was set at $1.52 million."

Dean added the case is still under investigation, and other people will be staked out.

"There will be more arrests made," he said.

Gantt Police Chief Kevin Owens said the lab contained approximately 400 grams of meth, with a street value of about $400,000.

Walt Merrill, a spokesman for the 22nd Judicial District, said the garbage truck fire this morning led to Grissett's arrest and two other related arrests in which names were not released.

"A culmination of a several month-long investigation, combined with a good break led to the arrests of three people," Merrill said. "Because of the hard work the DTF has put in, a major supply of methamphetamine has been removed from Covington County. We've taken one of the largest meth kitchens off the market."

Because of the potentially explosive situation of the meth lab in use, officials from a hazardous materials' company arrived to secure the scene later in the afternoon.