Inside the meth "super lab," could be largest in Tennessee - WRBL

Inside the meth "super lab," could be largest in Tennessee

Posted: Updated: 11/30/2013 1:06:55 AM
HazMat crews spent 36 hours processing evidence and cleaning up a toxic mess, Sheriff Mathes said. HazMat crews spent 36 hours processing evidence and cleaning up a toxic mess, Sheriff Mathes said.

UPDATE: 6:10 p.m.

Cloudland High, where 330 students attend school is just one mile away from what authorities are calling a "super" meth lab. Students at the high school are still surprised by what was found nearby.

"It's really shocking I didn't think something like that would happen this close to a school,"said student Harlee Whittmore.

Inside the house, officers found 201 shake n' bake bottles and gassers. They also found something that could have blown up the house and several businesses close by.

"The one thing that's staggering in this is the amount of lithium battery found strips with lithium, over a pound of that. That in combination with water is so volatile it could have very easily blown that house off it's foundation," said Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes.

The lone suspect, Timothy Blackwell, was charged with one count of possession of ammonia for use in manufacturing methamphetemine, one count of aggravated burglary, one count of unlawful drug paraphernalia, and six counts of initiation of methamphetamine manufacture. His bond is set at $110,000.

Sheriff Mathes said in manpower alone, cleanup totaled several thousand dollars.

"This is a real problem, its not a problem that's just in Roan Mountain or just in Carter County. This a real problem and you know, even though this is a real problem we need to face those and be aware of those," said Cloudland High School Principal Randy Birchfield

Mathes said the owner of the home, Timothy Blackwell's father, will be responsible for the clean up.


A recently discovered meth "super lab" in Roan Mountain now is being called possibly the largest ever found in the Tennessee.

Friday night, Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes released more information about an investigation at 8377 Highway 19 E, a white farmhouse surrounded by pasture which Mathes said was headquarters for an elaborate and dangerous drug manufacturing operation.

Timothy Blackwell was arrested and could face federal charges, Mathes said.

Approximately 20 Sheriff's Deputies were joined by EMS personnel, volunteer firefighters, hazmat crews, and members of the Tennessee Meth Task Force in processing evidence after a raid that took place Tuesday.  

Mathes said the total operation took 36 hours and wrapped up Wednesday night.

The amount of evidence allegedly found in the home "indicates that this meth lab seizure is suspected as being the largest in state history," said Mathes.

Investigators say they found 373 gallons of hazardous waste, 201 "One Pot Bottles," hydrochloric acid gas generators, and more than one pound of lithium.   Mathes said that "is truly a shocking amount as it, in combination with water, becomes highly volatile and explosive." 

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