A tip from a concerned citizen led to the arrest of two men and the shutdown of a methamphetamine lab being operated inside a home, according to Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell.
Narcotics officers were able to stop the operation as a batch of the illegal and toxic drug was being made, Ravenell said.
“It’s calls from concerned community members such as this one that helps us make the county safer,” the sheriff said. “We appreciate and encourage anyone who sees illegal activity such as this to call us immediately. This meth lab closure is the result of your calling.”
Richard Fleener, 46, of the residence, and Timothy Lee Crummie, 25, of Hickory Hill Road, Orangeburg, were both charged with disposal of meth waste.
Fleener was also charged with first-offense manufacturing meth. Crummie was charged with second-offense manufacturing meth.
A narcotics team member asked the court Wednesday to deny bond on Crummie, citing an apparent disregard for the well-being of the 80-year-old home owner, the public and the environment. The officer added that Crummie is out on probation for manufacturing meth as he now faces a new charge.
“That tells me right there, he’s not going to stop,” the officer told the court.
Orangeburg County Magistrate Peggy Doremus denied bond, ordering Crummie from the courtroom when he began to balk.
Fleener’s bond hearing was postponed until Thursday morning.
OCSO narcotics teams were notified by the concerned citizen just before 4 p.m. Tuesday. The caller said a meth lab was in operation off Cordova Road at a Lyons Road residence. The teams mobilized and converged on the residence at 851 Lyons Road where they immediately made contact with the homeowner, an 80-year-old resident who was moved to safety.
Officers asked one of two men inside the home where his bedroom was located. The man pointed it out but said the other subject was the meth cooker, according to an incident report.
Multiple containers of chemicals known to make methamphetamine were located inside and around the residence, the report said.
At one point, the Orangeburg County officers called for a State Law Enforcement Division team to assist in cleaning up the volatile chemicals.
“This stuff is simply dangerous,” Ravenell said. “It is harmful not only physically, but explosive and a danger for the environment.”