Pct. 4 Constable’s Office shuts down EMC meth lab
Story, photos by Jamie Nash / Video by Scott Engle
May 29, 2009
Thanks to an anonymous complaint and a swift response, there is one less meth lab in East Montgomery County.
Matthew Adam Harrison, 18, of Splendora was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance – greater than 1 gram and manufacture / delivery of a controlled substance – greater than 200 grams, less than 400 grams.
The clandestine lab was located in an abandoned single wide trailer at the dead end of 11th St. off of East River Drive in Splendora. With woods on three sides and another abandoned trailer on the fourth, it was a location few people would ever get near.
Pct. 4 Constable Rowdy Hayden said his deputies first knocked on the closed door of the mobile home, prompting two men to bolt from the back of the trailer. They caught and arrested Matthew Harrison. However, the man identified as his father, 37-year-old Stacy Harrison, successfully escaped, Hayden said.
The deputies then spoke to the property owners, who live in the first and only occupied residence on the property. After receiving the owners’ consent to search the last mobile home on the property, they discovered an active methamphetamine lab.
“At that time we called in the DPS MIG (Methamphetamine Initiative Group), a combined task force of multiple agencies who work from the DEA office to come out and process crime scenes,” Hayden said.
A Department of Public Safety MIG investigator, whose name is withheld, said substances removed from the mobile home were volatile and extremely dangerous, particularly to someone who wandered inside innocently.
The reaction vessel was a 2 liter plastic bottle.
“If a child would’ve knocked it over, or it had built up too much pressure because it’s capped, the bottle could blow up,” he said. “It can crack, then if air gets to that particular reaction, it can spontaneously catch fire.”
He said solvents, which can saturate the air and easily ignite from someone smoking, a spark, a short in electrical wiring, or even friction from shoes, account for 90 percent of what his agency seizes from meth labs.
The Constable, who took office on Jan. 1, was already familiar with meth lab destruction protocol. A few days into his first term, deputies made an alarming discovery as they began an inventory of items left behind in the evidence room by the previous administration of Constable Travis Bishop. The components of a meth lab were found with tags indicating the substances were stored there since the year 2000. Some of the chemicals had begun to react with one another.
Hayden contacted the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit and the US Drug Enforcement Agency who sent a hazmat team to remove and properly dispose of the chemicals.
SIU Lt. Philip Cash, with considerable experience and training in handling meth lab chemicals, was in command of the effort. Both bases and acids were found in a safe inside the property room, Cash said. At the time, he noted that the chemicals had been there so long that some of them had eaten through paper and cardboard and begun to rust the inside of the safe, which presented an extreme hazard to the entire building. He said if the two chemicals mixed they would have a “very violent” reaction.
Hayden said no meth lab components would be stored in his evidence room, since they could be documented and not required as physical evidence.
“The reason we have DPS and DEA officers processing the scene is so we don’t have to take volatile chemicals back to our evidence room,” he said. “They’ll be disposed of properly.”
The next step for Wednesday night’s case would be to issue public nuisance warnings to property owners, Hayden said, ordering them to clean the area and remove the abandoned buildings so the incident would not be repeated.
“A couple of vacant buildings are just a haven for incidents like this involving illegal drug activity,” he said.
DPS investigators planned to contact the Texas Board of Environmental Quality, and to leave a placard warning people to stay out of the structure.
The on-scene investigation was initiated around 11 p.m. and continued through the night. Like most of his men who were present, Hayden had been awake since before daybreak on Wednesday but all said they were determined to see it through.
The Pct. 4 bust came a day after the FBI announced that seven Southeast Texas were sentenced to federal prison for crimes related to methamphetamine in the Eastern District of Texas.
In addition to DPS and the DEA, other agencies assisted Pct. 4, including the Splendora Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
“Our department believes that we need to get the drugs out of the neighborhoods,” Hayden said. “That’s why we’re here- The presence of illegal drugs in the community has a huge impact on our children today, and that’s what we want to focus on.”
June 4, 2009
SPLENDORA-The Montgomery County Pct. 4 Constable’s Office has reunited a father and son, just in time for Father’s Day.
The “Men in Black” with the assistance of Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office SWAT and US Marshals, arrested 38-year-old Stacy Adam Harrison Wednesday night, a week after they arrested his son, Matthew Harrison, 18.
Pct. 4 Constable Rowdy Hayden said both men tried to run when deputies arrived at their Splendora residence on 11th Street last week, following an anonymous tip regarding illegal drugs on the premises. Only Matthew Harrison was caught.
Investigators then discovered an active meth lab in an abandoned mobile home on the premises and Hayden requested assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety MIG (Methamphetamine Initiative Group), which is a combined task force of multiple agencies who work from the DEA office. The agents arrived with Hazmat gear in a specially designed vehicle to safely disassemble and remove a meth lab from the property, where both men lived.
“Stacy Harrison was involved in the manufacturing and possession of a meth lab,” Hayden said. “He was arrested Wednesday night at his girlfriend’s house on 12th Street off of East River Drive in Splendora.”
Harrison is charged with manufacture / delivery of a controlled substance-greater than 200 grams, less than 400 grams, and marijuana possession. His bond was set at $100,000, Hayden said.
“Were taking a proactive initiative to keep narcotics off the streets here in East Montgomery County,” Hayden said.
UPDATE- June 5
Matthew Harrison’s bond is set at a total of $52,000 and his father, Stacy Harrison’s bond totals $51,000.
Both remain jailed.
EMC Father of the Year, favorite son, indicted
July 13, 2009
CONROE- A Montgomery County Grand Jury indicted 38-year-old Stacy Adam Harrison of Splendora last Thursday on one count of manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance (greater than 200 grams, less than 400 grams).
His son, 18-year-old Matthew Adam Harrison was indicted on one count of the lesser charge of possession of a controlled substance (less than 1 gram) and no billed on the manufacture/deliver of a controlled substance charge.
Both indictments stemmed from an investigation by the Pct. 4 Constable’s Office that culminated in the discovery of meth lab in an abandoned mobile home on May 28.
Pct. 4 deputies say when they knocked on the front door, both men fled through a rear door. Matthew Harrison was caught and arrested, but Stacy Harrison managed to escape. He was found and arrested on June 3.
As of Monday morning, both men remain in the Montgomery County Jail.