Three Calhoun County residents were arrested Thursday after an alleged meth house on Hwy. 71 South was raided.
Charles Barbee, Jr., 40, is charged with child abuse, manufacture of meth in the presence of a child, possession of meth and possession of listed chemicals.
Clayton Harris, 41, is charged with being a principle in the first degree by aiding in the manufacture of meth, as well as violation of state probation.
Amanda McClendon, 34, is charged with violation of probation.
According to the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, tips from various sources have been received that Barbee and Harris were manufacturing meth at Barbee’s residence south of Blountstown on State Road 71. Further investigation led Lt. Jared Nichols and Lt. Todd Wheetley to utilize a confidential informant in the case.
Contact was made with Harris by phone and the informant asked if Barbee could supply meth in exchange for pseudoephedrine pills, an essential ingredient in manufacturing meth. Harris allegedly responded, “Yes,” and told the informant to “get bat,” believed to mean lithium batteries, another necessary component in the meth cook process. When the informant asked when and where, Harris reportedly stated, “ASAP Chuck’s.”
Just before 6 p.m., two blister packs of pseudoephedrine and a pack of lithium batteries were delivered to Barbee at his home.
A search warrant was obtained and served at 8 p.m. on the Barbee residence. McClendon, who is on drug offender probation, was spotted walking outside the residence. Lt. Todd Wheetley approached her parked vehicle and found Barbee behind the wheel. Lt. Nichols knocked on the door of the house and heard running inside. He entered the home, was met by a strong chemical odor and found Barbee’s seven-year-old daughter inside alone. The child said her father had gone to town. She was taken to her grandparents’ house.
Windows and doors were opened and fans utilized to ventilate the Barbee residence due to the strong chemical smell.
A team consisting of Lt. Wheetley, Lt. Nichols, Dep. John Scheetz, Dep. Scotty Norris, Dep. Bobby Sims and Analyst Carla Scheetz searched the home. Found in Barbee’s bedroom were two reaction vessels, one with a liquid bi-layer and the other with pill binder and waste. Finished meth was discovered on a ceramic plate in a nightstand drawer. Also recovered from the bedroom were numerous meth pipes and other paraphernalia. A gram of suspected meth was located on a shelf. A garbage bag on the bedroom floor held empty containers and discarded contents of components used to manufacture meth. More empty containers and stripped batteries were found in a kitchen trash receptacle.
Investigators noted in the report that the highly explosive, flammable substances were all within reach of Barbee’s seven-year-old child.
A lunch box found in a shed on the property contained another reaction vessel and chemicals used to make meth.
Barbee told authorities he and his child live alone at the home, but he sends her to his parents’ house next door when he is doing meth.
Bond was set at $17,000 for Barbee. Harris and McClendon are both being held without bond for violation of probation.