Joint effort uncovers meth lab; five arrested near Dublin

By: Staff report

DUBLIN — Sheriff Jim McVicker announced a joint operation involving the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, White Lake Police Department and the North Carolina Highway Patrol that located and dismantled a methamphetamine lab near Dublin late Thursday night.

“The lab was located at 1105 Bethel Church Road after officers received an anonymous tip which lead to an in depth investigation,” said McVicker. “Sgt. Richard Allen with the Sheriff’s Office and Lt. Mike Salmon with the White Lake Police Department have received advanced training in clandestine labs and this is the second lab they have located in the county in the last month.

“These labs can be very dangerous and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has a team specially trained to break down and clean up these sites,” he added. “They can be dangerous for those cooking the meth, dangerous to the community and dangerous to officers. We always treat them as a toxic environment.”

Five individuals were arrested and charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine and placed in Bladen County Jail under a $100,000 secured bond each.

Arrested were: Andy Holder Walters, 46, of Tar Heel; Franklin Neal Taylor, 40, of Elizabethtown; James Crawford Johnson, 41, of Elizabethtown; Monica Reaves Britt, 31, of Tar Heel;and Sandie Shaw Britt, 34 of Whiteville.

McVicker said he anticipated additional charges to be brought against all five defendants.

“We are aware of other labs in the county and are actively working to shut them down,” McVicker said. “Investigations such as this take some time to come to a point where we can make arrests but we are zeroing in on several possible labs and hope to shut them down very soon.”

McVicker asks all residents to help stop the spread of drugs, whether it is methamphetamine, opioids, or heroin by reporting activity that seems suspicious.

Staff report