July 12, 2012

Search Warrant Uncovers Meth Lab in Memphis

A national tracking system for the sale of over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines has helped local law enforcement officers close down a suspected methamphetamine lab in Memphis.

The Scotland County Sheriff's Office and the Memphis Police Department made a pair of drug arrests last week stemming from an investigation utilizing the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx)

Every day, millions of people across the country rely on effective OTC cold and allergy medications for their intended use. A small percentage of people buy these same medications with the intent of diverting a component into the illegal and highly volatile drug, methamphetamine.

The National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) provides NPLEx at no cost to states, including Missouri, that have legislation requiring real-time electronic monitoring of precursor purchases, and agree to use the system.

According to court documents, the sheriff's office monitored some suspicious purchases of pseudoephedrine and initiated an investigation. Austin L Garrett allegedly purchased 2.4 grams of the cold medicines on June 27 and again on July 3rd and July 5th.

Garrett was question by the sheriff's office on July 5th and ultimately was arrested and charged with possession of a methamphetamine precursor drug with the intent to manufacture meth, which is a class D felony.

Garrett is being held in the Scotland County Jail on $15,000 cash only bond.

On Sunday, July 8th, Brett A Shinn, 24, was taken into custody on an Adair County warrant for failure to appear. Shinn had been out on $25,000 cash bond awaiting trial on a pair of class C felony charges for receiving stolen property and unlawful possession of a firearm in Adair County. Shinn failed to appear before Judge Kristie Jean Swaim for a preliminary hearing on June 27.

That same day, officers from the Memphis Police Department and Scotland County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at the Terri Shinn Fountain residence at 139 N Knott Street in Memphis.

The search of a bedroom occupied by Brett Shinn uncovered a number of precursors commonly used in the manufacture of meth, including but not limited to pseudoephedrine pill boxes, glass mason jars, lithium battery strips and numerous hypodermic needles. The search also uncovered digital scales and numerous small plastic baggies, some containing white powder residue believed to be meth.

Shinn has been charged with a class D felony of possession of a methamphetamine precursor drug with intent to manufacture meth. Additional charges are pending. He is being held on a $25,000 cash only bond.

Shinn has a preliminary hearing set for July 11th in the Adair County case.

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