Crime & Courts

Police say man operated meth lab from his vehicle

The Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team has arrested a Lexington man they believe was operating a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory in a vehicle.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said NET officers arrested Harold Ray Taylor, 43, of Ray Price Road, at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday on two counts of manufacturing methamphetamine, two counts of trafficking in pseudoephedrine, one count of unlawfully disposing of waste from a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory and one count of simple possession of marijuana.

Taylor was being held at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting a bond hearing.

Reports indicate the suspect was the subject of an ongoing undercover investigation of methamphetamine trafficking and manufacturing in the Batesburg-Leesville and Gilbert communities. Officers developed information that a mobile methamphetamine laboratory was being operated in a vehicle in Lexington and Saluda counties.

On Tuesday, officers say they saw the suspect breaking up pills and pouring chemicals while driving on U.S. 378, Metts said.

Officers conducted a traffic stop at about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday on U.S. 378 near the intersection with Devils Backbone Road. During the stop, they say they found an operational mobile methamphetamine laboratory as well as a large number of pseudoephedrine pills and a small amount of marijuana, Metts said.

Officers arrested Taylor and dismantled the methamphetamine laboratory.

Officers later went to the home of Taylor’s mother, where Taylor lives, and found pieces of equipment believed used in the operation, Metts said.

Police say the laboratory was capable of producing 1.5 pounds of methamphetamine that would have a street value of $69,000.

-- From Staff Reports