Counter Narcotics Team Dismantles Two Meth Labs - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Counter Narcotics Team says More Arrests May be Made in Meth Labs

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CHATHAM COUNTY, GA -

Update: The Chatham County Narcotics Team said Friday there may be even more arrests in what it calls a "major meth crime ring" that has already resulted in charges against fourteen people. Gene Harley with CNT says that four members of one family, along with various friends and associates of the family were engaging in making methamphetamine. , selling methamphetamine and going from county to county to buy the ingredients to make the drug. In all, authorities believe there were dozens of portable crime labs used and then disposed of during the last 18 months and that up to $40,000 worth of the drug was made and sold.

Harley called the operation a crime empire which he says was run by members of the Basham family.  The investigation began in 2011 after complaints from neighbors and some arrests and culminated yesterday with a raid in Bryan County.  Out of the fourteen indicted, two of the suspects remain at large.

Harley said the operation worked like this: up to a dozen people apparently went to at least 12 counties locally and in South Carolina to buy pseudophedrine, which is used to make methamphetamine.  He said one of the issues for neighbors these days is the new methods being used to make the drug.  He referred to the "shake and bake" method which Harley says allows the drug to be made without the cooking and odor that it once required.  As a result, Harley says these so called portable labs which sometimes are made up of one or two plastic liter bottles are being disposed of throughout the area and are dangerous.  He says anyone who comes across such bottles should use caution.  He say most often, the plastic bottles will be stripped of their outside labels, will have some kind of residue inside that looks like ash and have what looks like small rocks or battery pieces inside.  He says there may even be a tubing still left in the bottle.  Harley says anyone who sees bottles or other paraphernalia
they think may be a portable lab should contact authorities immediately.

(May 30, 2013): The Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT) announces the arrests and dismantling of two separate methamphetamine organizations operating throughout Chatham, Bryan, Effingham, and Bulloch Counties.    

Update: Suspect Dustin Clemons is now in custody in Appling County, GA.

In 2011, CNT began investigating several members of the Basham family following multiple complaints of suspected drug activity resulting in the arrests of a husband and wife.  Thomas and Melodie Basham were arrested in Bryan County by CNT in December 2011 following the seizure of a methamphetamine lab.  Both Thomas Basham and Melodie Basham were charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine by CNT and both persons were also charged with methamphetamine related charges by the Richmond Hill Police Department in a separate investigation.        

February 2013, Thomas Basham's brother, Roger Basham and Hope Mitchell were both arrested by the Richmond Hill Police Department following the seizure of a methamphetamine lab in Richmond Hill and were charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine.   

During the following month, Thomas Basham while out on bond for the CNT arrest in 2011, was again arrested, this time by the Effingham County Sheriff's Office.  Marcus Lindsey was also arrested.  In that case, Thomas Basham and Lindsey were arrested after being found in an unlawful possession of pseudoephedrine, a precursor for methamphetamine, obtained in Chatham County.  Both persons were charged with Unlawful Possession of Pseudoephedrine by the Effingham County Sheriff's Office. 

Following the multiple arrests of the Basham family members in the surrounding counties and knowing manufacturing methamphetamine often includes multiple persons, CNT focused its investigation on the Basham's criminal empire rather than the individual persons arrested in the separate incidents.  There, CNT found additional family members and associates were conspiring to purchase large amounts of pseudoephedrine and other items needed for the manufacturing of methamphetamine. 

During the conspiracy investigation, CNT learned the organization made or attempted to make over 236 purchases of pseudoephedrine over 17 months.  In some cases, the attempted purchases were denied due to state and federal laws restricting the amount of pseudoephedrine a person can purchase within a month.  The purchases were made in 12 counties in Georgia and two counties in South Carolina.  Based on the known amount of purchased pseudoephedrine weight alone, it's estimated the organization had produced over 14 ounces of methamphetamine and produced an estimated 200 methamphetamine labs.  The produced methamphetamine would have an estimated street value of up to $40,000.

March 26, 2013, CNT began a separate methamphetamine investigation following the discovery of a discarded methamphetamine lab on Cuyler Road in Bryan County.  During that investigation, CNT found components of the methamphetamine lab were purchased or obtained in Chatham County.  CNT identified a total of four people connected to the methamphetamine lab, Christopher Davis, Heather Dunn, Kimberly Carney, and Lisa Williams.  As previously reported by CNT, persons manufacturing methamphetamine often discard the finished lab by simply throwing it into a wooded area or by leaving it on a roadway.  This is extremely dangerous to the general public because someone who finds the discarded lab could be seriously injured from the fumes and chemicals.

On June 22, 2013 a total of ten people in the Basham organization and all four people in the discarded methamphetamine lab incident were indicted in the Superior Court of Chatham County, Georgia.  All persons were indicted on various felony methamphetamine related charges to include Conspiracy or Attempt to Violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act, Trafficking Methamphetamine, and Possession of Pseudoephedrine with the Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine.                

Early yesterday morning, CNT in a working partnership with the Chatham County Sheriff's Office, Bryan County Sheriff's Office, Bulloch County Sheriff's Office, and the Tri Circuit Counter Drug Task Force, executed multiple arrest warrants and one search warrant throughout Chatham, Bryan and Bulloch Counties.  A total of ten people were arrested.  The search warrant in the 4100 block of Bacontown Road in Pembroke resulted in the arrests of several of the wanted persons, seizure of methamphetamine and items commonly used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.  Of the ten people arrested yesterday, Christopher Davis, Heather Dunn and Hope Mitchell were already in custody in the Bryan County Detention Center on methamphetamine related charges.  Roger Basham turned himself in at the Bryan County Detention Center earlier this morning.       

Said CNT Director Everette Ragan, "This is CNT following through on its promise to the community to conduct long term investigations thus identifying all persons involved and dismantling the entire organization."   

 

                                                          Arrested 

 

36yoa-Thomas Randall Basham-Pembroke

Conspiracy/Attempt to Violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act

Trafficking Methamphetamine

Possession of a Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine) with Intent to Distribute

 

26yoa-Melodie Jaclyn Basham-Pembroke

Conspiracy/Attempt to Violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act

Trafficking Methamphetamine

 

62yoa-Sharon Mulkey Basham-Pembroke

Conspiracy/Attempt to Violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act

Trafficking Methamphetamine

Possession of Substance to Manufacture Schedule II Controlled Substance

 

33yoa-Roger Basham-Pembroke

Conspiracy/Attempt to Violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act

Trafficking Methamphetamine

(6cts) Possession of a Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine) with Intent to Distribute

 

46yoa-David Allen Barnard-Pembroke

Conspiracy/Attempt to Violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act

Trafficking Methamphetamine

 

42-yoa-Betty Deckard-Brooklet

Conspiracy/Attempt to Violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act

Trafficking Methamphetamine

 

Hope Mitchell

Conspiracy/Attempt to Violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act

Trafficking Methamphetamine

(3cts) Possession of Substance to Manufacture Schedule II Controlled Substance

 

29-yoa-Christopher Thomas Davis-Guyton

Conspiracy/Attempt to Violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act

Possession of Substance to Manufacture Schedule II Controlled Substance

 

22yoa-Heather Nicole Dunn-Pooler

Conspiracy/Attempt to Violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act

Unlawful Possession of Pseudoephedrine

 

28yoa-Kimberly Marie Carney-Savannah

Conspiracy/Attempt to Violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act

Possession of Substance to Manufacture Schedule II Controlled Substance

(5cts) Possession of Pseudoephedrine with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine

 

33-yoa-Lisa Renee Williams-Savannah

Conspiracy/Attempt to Violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act

Possession of Substance to Manufacture Schedule II Controlled Substance

 

                                                    Wanted

 

CNT is seeking the public's assistance in locating several persons wanted in connection with the operation:

 

34yoa-Dustin Clemons

Clemons is wanted for Conspiracy/Attempt to Violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act and Trafficking Methamphetamine.  Clemons is described as a white male, 6'01", 215lbs, with brown eyes and short cut black hair. 

 

31yoa-Marcus Lee Lindsey

Lindsey is wanted for Conspiracy/Attempt to Violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act, Trafficking Methamphetamine, and (5cts) Possession of Substance to Manufacture Schedule II Controlled Substance.  Lindsey is described as a white male, 5'10", 170lbs, with brown eyes and brown hair. 

  

52yoa-Tami Jo Hill

Hill is wanted for Conspiracy/Attempt to Violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act, Trafficking Methamphetamine, and (3cts) Possession of Substance to Manufacture Schedule II Controlled Substance.  Hill is described as a white female, 5'10", 170lbs, green eyes with blonde hair. 

This article published with information released by the Chatham County CNT Team.

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