Carter County officers report finding active cook underway inside home on Johnson Avenue
Published 9:49 am Thursday, January 8, 2015
A tip led police to a city residence Tuesday afternoon where officers arrested two people and found the fourth meth lab to be destroyed in Carter County already this year.
Police arrested Jason Paul Buckles, 37, and Shawna Lee Buckles, 36, both of 908 Johnson Ave., and charged each of them with initiation of methamphetamine manufacture. After an alleged altercation with police, Jason Buckles was additionally charged with resisting arrest.
Around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department went to 908 Johnson Ave. after receiving a tip that Jason Buckles and Shawna Buckles were manufacturing meth at the home, CCSD Investigator Harmon Duncan said.
“Officers knocked on the front door to no response,” Duncan said. “Upon leaving the residence, I passed an open trash can in the driveway at the corner of the front porch, and looking inside the partially open lid observed what my training and experience recognized as a meth gasser bottle.”
After seeing the gasser bottle, Duncan said he returned to the front door, where he opened the storm door in order to knock on the inner door. When he opened the storm door, Duncan said he smelled a strong chemical odor he said is associated with meth labs.
“I again announced myself as the Carter County Sheriff’s Office and pushed open the unlatched door to enter and remove anyone inside for the health and safety of persons exposed to the toxic odor detected,” Duncan said.
Police found Jason and Shawna Buckles inside the home and obtained written permission to search the house, Duncan said. Officers found several components required to cook meth in a bedroom of the home and an active cook was found in the living room.
Once the active cook was found, Duncan said the residence was evacuated for safety and the Tennessee Meth Task Force was called in to dispose of the lab.
While officers were attempting to evacuate the home, CCSD Capt. Mike Little said Jason Buckles “became combative” and “lunged at” one of the officers.
Both Jason Buckles and Shawna Buckles were taken into custody and decontaminated on scene by emergency personnel before being transported to the Carter County Detention Center.
Shawna Buckles is being held on a $20,000 bond while Jason Buckles is being held on a $20,500 bond. Both subjects appeared in General Sessions Court on Wednesday for arraignment and are next scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 16.
The home where the two resided has been quarantined by police as a result of the active meth lab being found, Duncan said.
“Under no circumstances can they go back in until the quarantine is lifted,” Duncan said. “No body is allowed to go back in for any reason, not even to get their clothes, their toothbrush or even their medicine. Everything inside the residence is considered contaminated.”
According to Duncan, any time an active lab is found inside a structure, whether it’s a house or an outbuilding, state and federal law requires the site be placed under quarantine until a certified meth lab cleaning crew can come in to decontaminate the home. Duncan said officers and technicians from the Tennessee Meth Task Force remove the lab components from the home but the certified clean up crews come in and test the walls, carpets and other surfaces to make sure any residue from the harmful chemicals and other components have been cleaned away.
According to Duncan, 2015 is starting out as a busy year for police when it comes to busting meth labs.
“There have been nine meth labs found in the state of Tennessee already this year and four of them have been in Carter County,” he said. “We are very proactive in finding these labs and we are very careful when we do find them.”