EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY- As the rest of the country celebrated their freedom on July 4, police say a pair of Splendora men lost theirs because they were making methamphetamine.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit went to a home on N. Tram Road near Three Bar St. where a large American flag waved in the wind in front of a wood frame house.
SIU Lt. Philip Cash, who heads up the SIU, said officers arrived to find a working meth lab, with all of its components on the property. Some of the finished product was also confiscated.
State and federal drug enforcement officers donned hazmat suits to safely remove the volatile chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine.
Danny Lamar Smith, Jr. (aka Peanut), 36 and Nathaniel Brian Smith, 30, were arrested and charged with possession, transport chemical with intent to manufacture controlled substance more than 200 grams, which is a second-degree felony, and with manufacture / sell / deliver controlled substance, which is a third-degree felony.
While methamphetamine use has only increased in the past few years, the number of meth labs saw a dramatic decrease following the passage of laws heavily regulating the sale of pseudoephedrine in the US. The sinus/allergy drug, once sold over the counter, is a major component in the production of methamphetamine.
In late 2007, Mexico passed legislation making pseudoephedrine an illicit drug in that country. Since that time, manufacture of the drug has seen resurgence in domestic production, according to narcotics officers.
Public Data shows Danny Smith has a lengthy criminal history including multiple drug related charges, a firearm charge and three or more arrests for driving while intoxicated, for which he was sentenced to five years probation in March 2008. Nathaniel Smith also has a history of drug related convictions.
MCSO SIU received assistance from MCSO patrol division, DPS MIG (Methamphetamine Initiative Group), and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).