Originally created 10/26/01

Police seize meth lab



Narcotics officers arrested three men Thursday in connection with a methamphetamine lab in south Augusta.

The Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force, working with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, arrested Thomas Lane and Pearre Dedman about 11:45 a.m. as they were leaving a suspected meth lab in the 4900 block of Fulcher Road in Hephzibah, according to DEA Special Agent Patrick Clayton.

Agents seized a small meth lab, also known as a "box lab," from the suspects' vehicle, a 1970 Chevrolet El Camino, officers said. They confiscated several chemicals used to make methamphetamine - a half-gallon of flammable liquid, two bottles of carbonated water, a bottle of carburetor cleaner and a bottle of iodine. Mr. Lane also was carrying an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine, Special Agent Clayton said.

Mr. Lane, 31, of the 4100 block of Bath Edie Road, was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine. Mr. Dedman, 37, of the 4900 block of Fulcher Road, was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine.

A short time later, police obtained a search warrant for the house on Fulcher Road where they found other drug-making materials - red phosphorus, ephedrine, iodine, acetone - along with some glassware and two propane tanks.

Another suspect, Julie Dedman, 33, Mr. Dedman's sister, was found inside in the home on Fulcher Road, Special Agent Clayton said. She was taken to the Augusta-Richmond County Law Enforcement Center and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine.

The homeowner, identified as Glen Florence, 43, was arrested about 4 p.m. at his job at Augusta Newsprint Co. on Doug Barnard Parkway. Police said they found a half-ounce of methamphetamine on Mr. Florence, in addition to an assortment of glassware and meth-making materials in his car.

He faces charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

Chemicals from the vehicles and the house were cleaned by workers from HEAPCO Inc., a hazardous-materials team in Augusta subcontracted by the DEA. The materials will be taken to a facility in Atlanta, where they will await shipment to Oklahoma for disposal, Special Agent Clayton said.

Reach Albert Ross at (706) 823-3339 or albert.ross@augustachronicle.com.