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Pike meth lab taken down; suspects named

Pike deputies – including a SWAT team, volunteer firefighters, agents of the Narcotics Task Force (NTF) and a hazardous materials team were on the scene of a working meth lab at 819 Reid Road Monday night. Three men arrested at the scene were identified Tuesday morning and one of the three had 29 prior arrests Three men, all white males, were arrested. They were identified as Fulton Leon Smith, 39; Leland Osborne, 25; and Cody Harrison, 20. All are charged with manufacture of methamphetamine. Smith has 29 prior arrests and Osborne is currently on parole for multiple offenses. Pike sheriff Jimmy Thomas said his investigators got a search warrant for the white clapboard residence at the corner of Reid and East Milner roads, near the Lamar County line, at 6:10 p.m. Monday. They sought the warrant due to information developed that meth was being cooked there. The SWAT team went in first with special breathing apparatus to avoid toxins. There was a strong chemical odor outside the home when the team arrived. When they entered the residence, they found a working meth lab with a batch of methamphetamine cooking off in a Gatorade jug. They backed out and called in the NTF clandestine lab team to stabilize the lab. The hazmat team arrived at about 9 p.m. to dispose of the volatile materials used in cooking meth. Those materials, which were laid out on a tarp outside the residence, included Coleman fuel, ammonium nitrate and over-the-counter ephedrine tablets. Sheriff Thomas said none of the three men arrested were strangers to law enforcement. They were stripped nude in the backyard of the home, washed down with a firehose, clothed in inmate coveralls and whisked off to the Pike jail. A thorough search of the home was to begin once it had been properly ventilated, the sheriff added. A light purple or maroon Mazda Tribute with a Lamar County tag was parked at the rear of the home where the arrests were made.

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