Conyers police closed down Old Covington Highway for several hours after discovering a "rolling meth lab" in a vehicle during a traffic stop on March 16.
Floyd Lee Triplett, Jr., 42, of Oxford, and Joy Elizabeth Lewis, 35, of Eatonton were arrested after police discovered them in a black SUV with raw ingredients for making methamphetamines.
"They were actually in the process of creating some meth in the traffic stop," said CPD spokesperson Capt. Scott Freeman.
Dispatchers received a call around 4 p.m. of a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Conyers with a lot of movement inside, possibly related to a domestic incident. When police arrived, the vehicle had already left.
"One of our officers did a good job in locating the vehicle," said Freeman, adding that it was easy for officers to get distracted from a call like that with other calls.
Officer Jason Heyman spotted a vehicle matching the description on Old Covington Highway and made a traffic stop. "He immediately recognized they were under the influence of some drug," said Freeman. A K9 with a backup officer indicated the presence of drugs as well. Inside, officers found items such as a liquid fire container, salt, camp fuel, and two clear containers with ingredients being mixed.
Once the officers realized what they had on hand during the initial search, they called a supervisor and began evacuating the area and closed down the road for three hours.
"These items are extremely volatile," said Freeman. "We treat it with similar protocols for handling a bomb." The Drug Enforcement Agency was called out to the site to confirm the items were indeed for a rolling meth lab.
This was the first time the CPD had encountered such a lab. "Some of the surrounding agencies have had similar finds on traffic stops. This was our first experience with it," said Freeman. He added, "One of the things I would like for people to understand is the dangers of meth use. It is an extremely dangerous and potent powerful and damaging drug all around."
Triplett was charged with possession of methamphetamines with the intent to distribute, giving false name/address or birth date to law enforcement, and having no insurance. Lewis was charged with giving false name/address or birth date to law enforcement.