Large meth lab found in Rock Hill is 21st bust this year

jzou@heraldonline.comDecember 12, 2013 

Two people have been arrested on methamphetamine-making charges and other drug-related offenses after a meth lab was discovered Tuesday afternoon in Rock Hill, according to law enforcement.

Brantie Britt, 37, of Rock Hill and girlfriend Jennifer Wheeler, 32, of Chester, were arrested on nine different drug and gun charges, authorities say.

Officers from the York County Sheriff’s Office uncovered the county’s 21st meth lab this year while checking on Britt, who was on probation at the time for drug charges in North Carolina.

It was Britt’s fourth drug charge and Wheeler’s second.

When officers searched the home where Britt was staying on Dunlap Roddey Road, they found the drug in liquid, crystal and powder form, said Marvin Brown, commander of the York County Multijurisdictional Task Force.

Officers recovered five buckets of chemicals used in the cooking process, along with eight large black trash bags of refuse in a shed behind the home.

Brown called the lab the biggest he’s seen in terms of materials recovered from a single site. “It’s like they’re competing with each other.”

The site required extensive cleanup, more than other labs, Brown said.

Officers found 421 grams of liquid meth, 0.5 grams of powder meth, and 0.1 grams of “ice” or crystallized meth. Other drugs found included 0.7 grams of heroin, an opiate drug called black tar and some prescription pills.

A pistol was found at the inactive lab site.

Brown said the amount of meth present in the combined forms upped the charges to meth trafficking.

According to Brown, 38 people have been arrested in connection with York County meth labs this year on 172 charges total.

Unlike other labs found this year, which used a crude one-pot process to produce the addictive drug, Brown said this particular site used an “old school” process that involves anhydrous ammonia.

He explained the process is more complicated and dangerous because it involves more unstable chemicals.

“You can still blow up,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be cooking to blow up.”

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated this was Britt's fourth methamphetamine charge. It was his fourth drug offense. This was also Wheeler's second drug offense.

Jie Jenny Zou •  803-329-4062

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