New Year meth lab gets 4 jailed

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 3, 2014

There was some cooking going on at one Rose Hill home New Year’s eve; however, it wasn’t black-eyed peas or collards on the stove. According to Drug Task Force agents, it was methamphetamine.

The day’s lab – which included two active “one-pot” meth cooks – was the third lab found in less than month, said DTF Commander Mark Odom, and marked the end of a month-long investigation. Odom said “a substantial recovery of meth oil” was among the items discovered.

“When agents made entry on the home, one of the occupants, Samuel Scott Bumgarner, tried to destroy one of the labs,” Odom said. “Luckily, agents were able to take him into custody before his attempt to destroy it injured anyone in or around the residence.”

Inside the home, agents found not only the necessary meth making ingredients, but also smoking devices, medical syringes, finished product methamphetamine and about 250 grams of methamphetamine oil.

In total, four people were arrested on trafficking, manufacturing, felony drug paraphernalia possession and other assortments of drug related charges, including:

• Bumgarner, 40, who was also charged with distribution and tampering with physical evidence, and held on a $710,000 bond;

• Michael Anthony Behrens, 23, who was also charged with distribution and held on a $700,000 bond;

• Tammy Stewart Strickland, 47, who was held on a $600,000 bond.

• Haley Christine Strickland, 18, who was also held on a  $600,000 bond.

Following the arrests, Odom said, “I don’t even know what to say about this. It amazes me that people are so consumed by their ‘need’ to get high that they will risk not only their own lives, but someone else’s, to get drugs. I appreciate the bravery of the agents I work with. They truly face danger every day to protect and serve the people of Covington County.”