Thursday, August 31, 2006
Byhalia police uncover meth lab
By SUE WATSON
Byhalia police, attempting to serve a warrant for a person wanted by the Olive Branch Police Department, uncovered a crystal methamphetamine lab instead.
Police Chief Mike Novay said a meth lab was seized along with about $100,000 in street value (in excess of 3.5 pounds) of crystal meth Monday, Aug. 21, after officers of his department went to the Thomas Cove area looking for a man Olive Branch police suspected was in the Byhalia area. Two guns and about $700 were seized during the investigation, he said.
Novay said the meth lab contained precursor chemicals and the product in all stages of manufacture.
Francis Harold Reagan, 39, of 56B Thomas Cove, Byhalia, was arrested at the residence, but was not the person the Olive Branch Police Department was looking for, Novay said.
Reagan is charged with felony possession of precursor drugs, with manufacture of controlled substances with intent to distribute and with possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), Novay said. His bond was set at $300,000 at arraignment by Judge McGarrh August 23. Reagan is being held, pending making bond, at the Marshall County jail.
Novay said he believed the lab had been at the Thomas Cove apartment for some time and that the crystal meth was being manufactured for distribution outside the local community for the most part.
Officers arrived at the house at approximately 8 p.m. expecting to knock on the door when Reagan came out of the residence, Novay said.
“Officers confronted him and he surrendered the lab and gave permission to search,” Novay said.
Five Byhalia law officers, three officers with the Southaven Police Department, and narcotics agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency Task Force remained at the location tagging evidence and cleaning up for about 12 hours.
Novay said a police scanner and video surveillance camera were in the house.
He said the drug lab was “very large” as well as the amount of controlled substance seized.
“This is the only meth lab we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Novay said. “We’re not proud we had a meth lab in our city. But, we’re proud we caught it.”
Novay praised his officers for a concerted team effort.
“I’m real proud of my officers,” he said. “And the same goes to members of the Southaven Police Department and the DEA Task Force who assisted us.”
The Byhalia Police Department responded to 33 calls during the past week.
Chief Novay released the following report – seven alarm calls, one motor vehicle accident, five disturbances, one domestic disturbance, one theft, three escorts, one juvenile-related call, three assists, two fires and nine miscellaneous calls.
Officers wrote seven citations.
Novay said five others arrests were made during the past week on the following charges:
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