Anderson Police Bust Suspected Meth Lab
June 23, 2004
An Anderson father and his son are suspected of running a meth lab out of the father's Madison County home. Police say the methamphetamine lab is the first-ever found in their city.
"I just wish I never picked that stuff up and brought it here," said suspect Henry Watson.
That “stuff” is ingredients to make methamphetamine. Watson says he's innocent, but he and his 19-year old son, Anthony, are accused of running one of the largest meth labs in the county.
"It was in my garage and I had it here 14 hours, if that," continued Watson.
His Anderson home is the center of a meth lab investigation. Police say they found the set-up in Watson's garage after a police officer smelled ether.
"For him to smell that odor -- the officer -- they had to be in the process of cooking something or preparing it. Ether is very strong," said Sgt. William Casey of the Anderson Police Department.
Watson -- who is out of jail on bond -- told News 8 that he was looking for property to buy and that's when he got the supplies from a farm.
"I thought it was worth some money. I didn't know what it was."
Police were tipped off from by Wal-mart employee who said Anthony Watson and a 17-year old female bought an excessive amount of Sudafed, which police say is a key ingredient in making meth. Police say people are only allowed to buy three boxes of Sudafed or cold medicine with ephedrine in it during a certain period of time.
"My son has allergies. We do yard work. He went to Wal-mart and got some cold pills," argued Watson.
“They put us all on the kitchen floor. They come on in through about 3 o'clock in the morning and said they could smell a strong odor,” explained Watson of their arrest.
"You had the propane, different types of gases, stuff that you could use when you're in the process of making meth,” countered Casey. “You take a meth lab in the city [and] you take a big risk as far as explosions of ether and the ammonia. So folks in rural areas have places, little buildings they can put their stuff in and make their drugs away from their home and other people."
Police say it was an elaborate set-up, including instructions on how to make the drug.
"It had a bunch of stuff in these tubs, these tanks. I didn't know what was in it. You know, I guess I was just curious to what it was and what was in it. I didn't even know what meth was," argued Watson
Police say both father and son have no prior police record. They are out of jail on $20,000 bond each.
Police say their charges include dealing meth and operating an illegal drug lab. If convicted, they each could face up to 20 years in prison.