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January 22, 2010

6 meth arrests made around county

CULLMAN — Six Cullman County residents were arrested in the past week for alleged meth manufacturing in three separate incidents.

On Jan. 16, three people were charged with unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance, stemming from an incident at a Hanceville residence.

Shushune Shimeki Miller, 30, Michael James Coker, 36, and Patrick Joseph Cunningham, 30, have all been charged for unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance in the first degree.

“Deputies were at this residence near Hanceville attempting to serve a felony warrant,” Cullman County Chief Deputy Tony Quick said. “As they arrived and knocked on the door, occupants from within the house ran out the back door. Deputies were at the rear door to detain them.”

Upon entering the house, Quick said drug paraphernalia was in plain view.

“Evidence used to manufacture methamphetamines were present,” he said. “Hazmat was called to help decontaminate and CNET collected the evidence.”

Unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance in the first degree is a Class A felony, punishable by up to life in prison.

In an unrelated incident, a routine traffic stop on Jan. 18 in Cullman ended with a Hanceville man behind bars for manufacturing of a controlled substance.

Jeffrey Allen Lee, 29, was arrested for unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance in the second degree and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

“A city police officer stopped a Nissan pick-up truck on Morgan Avenue for failure to use a turn signal,” Cullman Narcotics Enforcement Team Director Matt Gentry said.

The truck was driven by Randy Wayne Welch, 31, who was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Lee was a passenger in the vehicle.

“After obtaining probable cause, officers at the scene were able to locate some coffee filters with a white powdery substance that tested positive for meth,” Gentry said. “On the back of the truck, the officer located the components and chemicals commonly used in the manufacturing of methamphetamines.”

Cullman Police Chief Kenny Culpepper said the officers involved did an excellent job to make the arrest.

“They were very observant and it’s a good job they’re doing,” he said.

On Jan. 19, an unrelated tip from the See Meth, Stop Meth, hot line led to the arrest of two Vinemont residents for alleged meth manufacturing.

Joel David Mercer, 39, and Stephanie Susanne Mercer, 38, were charged with unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance in the second degree.

“When law enforcement arrived they found evidence of methamphetamines being made in a shop near their home,” Quick said. “Various chemicals and other ingredients, including four grams of finished product, were collected as evidence. They remain in jail on a $1 million bond.”

Unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance in the second degree is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

* Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at trentm@cullmantimes.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 225.

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