Drug Bust in Waynesboro Leads to More Than a Meth Lab

By: Garrett Wymer Email
By: Garrett Wymer Email
McDaniel is wanted in connection to the discovery of marijuana plants.

Signs of a Possible Meth Lab

  1. Secrecy. Operators will try to keep their meth lab secret. That could mean blacking out their windows, keeping blinds and curtains closed at all times or installing surveillance systems. They may also have guard dogs.
  2. Strong odors. You might smell strong chemicals like ammonia or gas.
  3. Lots of trash. Making meth requires a lot of materials and containers. A lot of refuse piling up could be a sign of a meth lab.
  4. Breathing problems, wheezing, nausea or faintness from those near or living in the house. The chemical output of meth can sometimes be odorless, but it is toxic nonetheless.
  5. Lack of care to exterior of home and yard, particularly if owner doesn't work and is home a lot. "Manufacturing methamphetamine is pretty much a full-time job," says Waynesboro Police Sgt. Brian Edwards.


WAYNESBORO,Va. (WHSV)-- Mount Vernon street is home to a nice neighborhood in Waynesboro. Those who live on the street say they didn't have a clue as to what was really going on in one of their neighbors' backyards.

"We were completely shocked," said Sara Guertler, a neighbor.

Guertler and her husband moved to Mount Vernon Street in June 2014.

"We thought this was a very safe area, so we were very shocked to find out about this, and just kind of nervous that it was right across the street from us and we had no idea," said Guertler.

They weren't the only ones who didn't know. Other neighbors said they didn't know either, that behind houses on the street, were more than 100 marijuana plants and a meth lab.

"These situations can be very volatile. When these ingredients are cooked together, they have a certain degree of being very unsettled. There have been meth house explosions, and in this case, there had been a past fire," said Sgt. Brian Edwards with the Waynesboro Police Department.

Police raided the homes on Thursday night, and found not only the drug operation, but even a cache of weapons, and a surveillance system.

One of the suspects, Steven Carter, is behind bars. The other suspect, Thad James McDaniel, is still on the loose.

According to Waynesboro police, there are signs you can look for, including people's habits and behavior.

"The manufacturing of methamphetamine is pretty much a full-time job. Sometimes they're going at it nonstop for several days without rest," said Sgt. Brian Edwards.

Neighbors say the folks who lived here are nice people, but the street is safer now that the meth lab is gone.

"I'm glad that they did at least find them and were able to get most of the people involved in it," said Guertler.

If you have any information that could help police, you're asked to call Waynesboro Police at 540-942-6675, or crime stoppers at 1-800-322-2017.

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