Three meth busts on the same street leaves neighbors worried

- Lincoln County Narcotics Department busted three meth labs all on the same street.

Joseph Creech of Swanson Road appeared in court Monday for charges of manufacturing and possessing methamphetamine. Detectives are still searching for James Merriam.

“It takes more than one person to do a one-pot,” Lt. Jon Propst explained. “And more than likely they did do both together.”   

Lt. Jon Propst told FOX 46 Charlotte that the two men were not selling the drugs and that one-pot meth labs only make enough for usage.

Merriam has been allegedly involved in all three busts.  

“It’s dangerous for him, for any family members that may come in contact with it. Sometimes the method of disposal, they will put the product on someone else’s property. They will put it in the trash, or burn it, or do whatever, that causes a problem for the neighborhood," Lt. Propst said. 

Joyce Runyon lives on Swanson Road with her four grandchildren, just three doors down from the meth lab. After the first bust, she considered moving. Runyon decided to stay, but she is still concerned about the potential explosives and fumes.

“If it blows up, is it going to come up this way?” Runyon said. “Is one of the children going to be down close to there? Which we keep them up here but you never know how far it’s going to blow.”

Lt. Propst said his team has been tracking Merriam’s every move, until he went missing.

“Most people only but Sudafed once or twice in their life time, not once or twice a week,” Propst said. “We are putting together the pieces, it’s a lot like a puzzle.”

If you know anything about Merriam’s whereabouts or recent drug activity, you are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909 or the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Drug Tip Line at 704-736-8606. All tips are investigated and callers will remain anonymous. 

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