HAPPY- A tip about the location of a Perry County fugitive led to the discovery of a meth lab and marijuana cultivation in the Happy community.
Deputy Jerry Burns, with the Perry County Sheriff’s Office, said several people had called in reporting sightings of Chris Shepherd, who has several active warrants and who has been actively fleeing deputies for weeks.
“We got a couple of citizens calling the sheriff’s office saying they thought they had seen him [Shepherd] down Arrowwood Drive,” said Burns.
Acting on those tips, Burns said he and Deputy Kevin Day went to the area in search of Shepherd.
“Myself and Deputy Kevin Day decided to patrol down here, we came to the residence that people said he was seen at and made contact with the female … in the camper, and she advised her and her brother-in-law lives here,” reported Burns.
The female, identified as 28-year-old Bille Marie Womack of Crystal River, Florida, had two active warrants, said Burns. After Womack was taken into custody, Joseph Newton, 29 arrived on scene and was taken into custody. Newton was found to have two active warrants as well.
Burns said that they received permission to search the property located at 312 Arrowwood Drive, and in the course of the search found what appeared to be methamphetamine and young marijuana plants. The property consisted of a trailer reportedly the home of Jeffrey Newton and a small camper where Womack and Joseph Newton were reported to live.
“I asked could we look around, she said we could,” Burns said. “As soon as I came to the side of the trailer I saw a white bucket that had the lid off, looked inside of it and it had meth precursors and what looks like two bottles containing methamphetamine—a small meth lab. Around the camper was some small marijuana plants and also around the house was another container of marijuana plants.”
Burns also said that he and Day located what appeared to be a cultivated spot for transplant of the marijuana behind the house.
Shortly thereafter, Jeffrey Newton arrived at the scene and was arrested on an active warrant.
Burns said that all three subjects could face charges of cultivating marijuana under five plants, possession of methamphetamine, possession of meth precursors, and manufacturing meth.
According to Burns this is the fourth meth lab they have found in Perry County this month.
“All of them but one has just been us driving around patrolling and speaking with people, so we’re going to try to take care of all of them that we can. It’s definitely a problem,” stated Burns.
Burns said that the sheriff’s office was still searching for Chris Shepherd, and that anyone who was found to be assisting him in evading arrest would be charged with hindering apprehension. If anyone knows the whereabouts of Chris Shepherd they can call the sheriff’s office at 606-439-4523, or email the tip line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gwendolyn Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter@HazardHerald