Four Manchester residents were arrested Sunday on methamphetamine related charges after Corbin police discovered many of the components needed to make the drug in their vehicle.
A red Jeep driven by 33-year-old Preston Henson was stopped in the parking lot of Dollar Mart Sunday afternoon after police say he was observed "acting suspicious" at a nearby Walgreens store. Corbin Police Officer Jeff Hill checked the license plate on the Jeep and found that it actually belonged on a Ford F-150 and so initiated a traffic stop.
Inside the Jeep were a total of six people: Henson, 56-year-old John Henry Fultz, 36-year-old Tonya Paxson, 23-year-old Shawn Daniel Shoupe and two others who were only detained for a while and released.
Hill said everyone in the vehicle was acting nervous during the traffic stop. Henson gave police the right to search the car. Inside, authorities discovered two propane tanks, three boxes of Sudafed, a glass smoking pipe, chemical gloves, and a marijuana joint. Under the passenger front seat was also discovered a coffee thermos and coffee filters with a brown liquid that field-tested positive as methamphetamine.
Hill said many of the items seized are used to make the drug.
"They had enough to actually start manufacturing it," Hill said. "I would say they were shopping for Sudafed or heading to make some meth."
Sudafed contains the drug psuedoephedrine – an essential ingredient in the manufacture of meth.
"Everbody had a different story about what they were doing here," Hill said. "One of them said they came to get a gift card. One said they were just riding around. None of it added up."
All four were arrested.
Henson was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine (first offense), possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia (second offense), unlawful possession of meth precursors, improper registration plate, no/expired registration plate, no/expired registration receipt, driving on a suspended license, six counts of failure to wear a seat belt, failure to maintain insurance and endangering the welfare of a minor. Hill said one of the two people released was a 16-year-old girl.
Paxson, Fultz and Shoupe all face charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of meth precursors. Paxson is additionally charged with public intoxication.
All four were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center.
Hill was assisted in his investigation by Cpl. Jim Miller and Patrolman Kirk Mays.
The Laurel County Department of Public Safety responded and safely disposed of the propane tank and thermos.