Deputies discover Anhydrus Ammonia lab in Roane Co. (Courtesy: Roane Co. Sheriff's Office)
ROCKWOOD, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Deputies in Roane Co. discovered hundreds of pounds of the meth ingredient Ammonium Nitrate along the 1000 block of Joiner Hollow Road in Rockwood on Wednesday, the Sheriff's Dept. announced Thursday morning.
A tip about suspicious activity led authorities to around 250 lbs. of the substance hidden in a wooded area. A subsequent search turned up an elaborate Anhydrus Ammonium lab set up inside a large tent and another 100 lbs. of Ammonium Nitrate. According to Sheriff Jack Stockton, early estimates indicate that's enough to make between 30 and 50 lbs. of methamphetamine.
Deputies also found sleeping bags, a cooler with food, a propane heater and a cell phone charger inside the tent.
The Roane Co. Sheriff's investigators are trying to determine who is behind the lab. According the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force, these Anhydrous Ammonium labs are prevalent in West Tennessee and they have seen an influx of these labs moving east.
People living close by said they're scared.
"I mean, could someone get crazy and come up here and harm us? I don't know, I didn't like it," said Margaret Bohanan, who lives just down the road.