Evidence of meth labs in Anderson Co.

State Journal Staff Report Published:

More than a month after Frankfort Police uncovered an alleged methamphetamine lab for the first time in recent memory, Lawrenceburg Police found evidence of four “shake and bake” labs at an Anderson County residence.

The Anderson News reports Robert Medley, 25, was stopped by police Tuesday for not wearing a seat belt and driving on a suspended license. 

Medley “kept grabbing his crotch area” as he sat on the trunk of his car during the traffic stop, and when officers asked what he had in his pants, he pulled out a cigarette pack with three bags of meth and a snorting straw, the newspaper reports.

Officers searched the vehicle and found another cigarette pack with a bag of meth, a bottle of Red Crown high test lye and a box of pseudoephedrine, common materials used to produce meth, according to The Anderson News.

The passenger, Evan Cochran, 20, said Medley paid him to “smurf,” or buy, the pseudoephedrine for him, according to the newspaper.

Police had received tips of possible meth manufacturing at a residence in Lawrenceburg, and Medley was stopped driving the vehicle of the homeowner, 26-year-old Katie Jo Stratton, the newspaper reports.

“I had been watching them, but this was a break in the case, this traffic stop,” Lawrenceburg Police Officer Jeremy Cornish told The Anderson News.

Police searched the residence with consent and found evidence of previous “shake and bake” meth labs, such as lithium, four hydrochloric gas generators, ammonia nitrate crystals from cold packs, several receipts for the purchase of Sudafed, tubing and punctured ether cans, according to the newspaper.

Medley faces charges of trafficking meth, manufacturing meth, use or possession of drug paraphernalia and traffic offenses while Stratton and Cochran face charges of manufacturing meth and unlawful distribution of a meth precursor. 

Anderson County has had problems with meth in recent years, including some unexpected lab busts. 

In 2010, three were arrested outside a Lawrenceburg Rite Aid after police found a small stockpile of meth and a lab in a field near the store, where the group had been camping in a drainpipe. Police found pillows and clothes inside the pipe.

Though meth issues here have been minimal, Frankfort police busted a lab on Old Glenns Creek Road March 29. Officers found meth, several packs of pseudoephedrine and other materials to make meth.

Raymond Eastman, 43, and Connie Sturgeon, 32, face charges of manufacturing meth, possession of meth, possession of meth precursors, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. They’ve pleaded not guilty in Franklin Circuit Court.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland said he hasn’t prosecuted a case involving meth manufacturing in some time but said he would use the “wrath of God” to keep the drug out of Franklin County.

Still, “if it happens once it will happen again,” he told The State Journal.


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