BY KEN LITTLE
Two men and a woman, including a Greene County man, are in custody in Washington County following an investigation Tuesday after a methamphetamine lab was found behind a house at 1387 Highway 107.
The meth lab is located near the Greene County line in the Washington County area of Chuckey.
Sheriff Ed Graybeal said in a news release that the Greene County man, David R. Manzi, 30, of 1015 House Road, was taken into custody after a warrants check revealed he was wanted in Alabama on felony warrants.
Manzi is charged with being a fugitive from justice and held on no bond. His first Washington County General Sessions Court appearance was Wednesday.
Deputies charged Robert C. Bennett, 34, of 1387 Highway 107, after "a follow-up investigation into a methamphetamine lab being utilized behind the residence," Graybeal said.
Investigators found Bennett "extremely fidgety and nervous," Graybeal said.
A pat-down "led to an investigator nearly being stuck by an uncapped hypodermic needle," the sheriff said.
Bennett broke free and ran on foot a short distance before an investigator could secure him with handcuffs.
"The pursuit was brought to a conclusion with a Taser deployment. Bennett was immediately cooperative following the deployment and was cuffed, during which time a second investigator was nearly stuck with another hypodermic needle," Graybeal said.
Deputies recovered five hypodermic needles from Bennett, including two that were uncapped.
Bennett was found to be wanted on an outstanding felony warrant for violation of probation. He was charged with violation of probation, two counts of reckless endangerment, resisting and evading arrest, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Bennett's bond was set at $5,000. His initial General Sessions Court appearance was Wednesday. Bennett remains held on no bond on the violation of probation warrant, pending a Criminal Court appearance.
Keira A. Silvers, 20, of 112 Robert Smith Road, in Erwin, was charged with having a prohibited weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia.
An investigator saw an automatic knife in Silvers' back pocket. A pat-down revealed a hypodermic needle in her bra, Graybeal said.
Silvers' bond was set at $2,000. Her initial General Sessions Court appearance date was Wednesday.
A drug tip led to the arrests, the news release said.
A search of the Highway 107 property turned up a bag containing items "which had been used in the manufacture of methamphetamine," Graybeal said.
Items in the bag included disassembled lithium batteries, several flammable solvents, Pseudoephedrine tablets, and containers.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration assisted in the investigation, "which is currently ongoing with more charges possible in the future," Graybeal said.