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DTF nails meth lab, arrests two in Lowndes Co.

Agents with the Second Judicial Drug Task Force raided a home in the Minter community on Friday evening, and caught two suspects in the middle of "cooking" methamphetamine.

"We received reliable information from investigations conducted by the Butler County Sheriff's Department recently, and gained undercover knowledge that a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory was in operation on Crook Road in the Minter community of Lowndes County," said Lt. Chris West, commander of the 2nd DTF. "Agents, armed with a search warrant signed by Lowndes County District Judge Terri Bozeman, stormed the double-wide trailer, and when we did, we found Michael Small, a 36-year-old white male and Deborah Duncan, a 35-year-old white female of Chalet Drive, Greenville, in the process of drying methamphetamine into crystal form."

West said a very strong odor of chemicals usually associated with methamphetamine manufacturing could be detected throughout the house.

"There was also a very alarming discovery once we entered the residence," West said. "We found that there was a 12-year-old juvenile in the home - the son of Duncan - one room from the clandestine lab. He was asleep, sitting in a recliner with a puppy.

"A third adult, Christopher Stowers, a 36-year-old male of Lowndes County, was in the residence when we entered, repairing a television on the living room floor," West said. "We did not charge Stowers with anything, but he is still under investigation."

West said several drugs were seized, along with firearms.

"We seized a quantity of crystal methamphetamine, bi-layer chemicals, which are methamphetamine nearly complete, and a quantity of marijuana, along with several chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia," West said. "We also seized a 9-mm. pistol and a 9-mm. rifle, which were in the same room with the methamphetamine."

According to West both Small and Duncan were charged and transported to the Lowndes County Detention Facility.

"We charged Duncan and Small with manufacturing methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine, unlawful possession of marijuana, second degree and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia," West said. "We transported them to the Lowndes County Detention Facility where they were booked and held pending a hearing with Judge Bozeman, who would set their bond."

West said this investigation has been on-going for nearly two years, and has reaped additional cases prior to this one coming to fruition.

West said the case would not have been possible without assistance of other agencies.

"We could not have made this case without assistance from investigators at the Butler County Sheriff's Department," West said. "We also were assisted by the Alabama Department of Pardon and Parole, the Alabama Department of Forensic Science, and District Attorney John Andrews' office."