Crimetracker: 16 meth labs found at 1 Friendsville trailer; suspects identified

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/AP) -- Blount County authorities say they found 16 methamphetamine labs at one mobile home as an outgrowth of the "Cash for Cooks" program.

Four adults and a 17-year-old girl were taken into custody Thursday night after the sheriff's office got a tip about someone cooking meth on Terry Way in Friendsville. Two other people fled from the trailer on foot.

The suspects were identified as:

Catherine Ann Cole, who was charged with criminal conspiracy and promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine, as well as an attachment for contempt on a previous charge. She is being held on bonds totaling $60,000;

Mitsue Anne Gilbert Eichin, who was charged with criminal conspiracy and promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine. She is being held on bonds totaling $15,000;

Shawn Edward Tucker, who was charged with maintaining a dwelling where controlled substances are used or sold, criminal conspiracy, promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine, as well as two violations of probation charges. He is being held on bonds totaling $72,573.79;

Sarah Diane Herrell, who was charged with promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine and criminal conspiracy. She is being held on bonds totaling $15,000.

Jasmine Patrick lives next door and said she got a big surprise when she got home from work Wednesday night.

"There was - oh Lord, I couldn't even count how many cop cars. I thought somebody died, to be honest," said Patrick.

She said her neighbors were acting weird recently and wouldn't give her direct answers when she talked to them. She said she asked them why so many people kept showing up at their home at all hours of the day and night.

"They said, 'Well, we have family.' Okay, everybody has family. Why is there so much traffic in this little town? On this one driveway?"

She can't believe that much meth was about 30 feet from her front door.

"They blow up. They could take out everything, just one little bottle can kill everything. That scares me. I love my life, I'm not trying to die," said Patrick.

Investigators said the bust is the result of the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force's "Cash for Cooks" program, which pays people for meth maker tips. A billboard along the US 129 Bypass advertises the program, and this is its first big meth bust.

"I think that's pretty cool. I've seen that sign. To be honest, me and my best friend were making fun of it. Because God knows how many people were over there, cooking and doing their thing. I'm just glad it's over and done with. Finally," said Patrick.

All four individuals are being held pending hearings in Blount County General Sessions Court at 9 a.m. July 24. The juvenile arrested also has an upcoming hearing.


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