Authorities bust active meth lab in East Knox Co.

By: Hilary Magacs Email
By: Hilary Magacs Email

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Cash Road in East Knox County is normally quiet, but Tuesday afternoon, deputies surrounded a mobile home at 419 Cash Road.

"I went out on my back porch to get in wood and I saw a lot of cars, and they began to come in - all kinds of bright lights after it got dark, and I just really didn't know what was happening," said Billie Burnett, who lives across the street.

Others had an idea:

"When they set all their tents and stuff up down the driveway, their decontamination stuff - we knew pretty much what it was then," said Wayne Doane, who lives next door.

Narcotics officers found an active meth lab in the trailer. Robyn Welch - who lives there - along with Barbara Hickman, Daniel Moore and Joshua Phipps are facing charges.

Doane was surprised and can't believe something so dangerous was so close.

"A meth lab is a meth lab. I don't care how little or how big it is. Of course, the bigger it is, the worse it can be around the neighbors and stuff," said Doane.

Doane said it's especially scary because his grandson plays outside.

"He plays out in back a lot, and that makes it even more nervous that he's back there," he said.

The lab never exploded and none of the neighbors were hurt, but a narcotics officer helping with the cleanup had to be taken to the hospital. The officer's airtight suit worn for protection caused heat-related problems.

"I hate to see our officers hurt ,you know, and have to go into that stuff and work in it," said Burnett.

The officer was treated and released at UT Medical Center and is now doing okay. The Sheriff's Department is not releasing the officer's name at this time.

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