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Originally published: 2012-10-25 15:26:55
Last modified: 2012-10-25 15:26:55

Five arrested on meth charges

Five Avery residents are in jail and one suspect is still on the run after investigators with Avery County Joint Drug Task Force and deputies with Avery County Sheriff’s Office allegedly discovered the makings of methamphetamine labs in Elk Park, Linville and Newland on Tuesday, Oct. 16. 

According to Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye, officers allegedly located materials necessary to manufacture meth in what officers often call a “shake-and-bake” lab. Some of the materials reportedly found included drink bottles, Sudafed blister packs, lithium battery wrappers, fire starter fluid and rock salt.

In the first location, officers reportedly discovered materials at the residence of Eric Hicks, 48, of Elk Park and found that he had recently purchased Sudafed and allergy medications containing pseudoephedrine through the Meth Check state program. Hicks was arrested and placed under a $100,000 secured bond with a court date of Oct. 25. 

At a second, related location, deputies discovered more materials for producing meth at the residence of Jennifer McCoury, 38, of Linville. 

The Avery Sheriff/Municipal Drug task force had been watching for Sudafed and other pseudoephedrine purchases from McCoury and found several bottles and materials of past methamphetamine one-pot labs at her residence.

McCoury is thought to be hiding in Tennessee and warrants are outstanding for her arrest, according to Frye. Anyone with any information on McCoury’s location is asked to notify ACSO or Crimestoppers at (828) 737-0125. Information may lead to a reward for the apprehension of McCoury. 

At a third location, officers gained access to the home of William Carpenter, 60, on Miller’s Gap Highway and found three other individuals in the home: Richard Lowery, 47; Destiny Roark, 22; and Corey Brown, 24. After receiving permission to search the premises, deputies discovered a large quantity of drain cleaner, muriatic acid and a number of pseudoephedrine blister packs. The four individuals were arrested and charged with the same crimes: manufacture of methamphetamines and possession of precursor chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. All four are currently being held at Avery County Detention Center on $100,000 secured bonds with a court date of Oct. 25.

Deputies called in the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation’s Clandestine Laboratory response team to document and dispose of the labs.