“I was trying to make contact with someone at the Travel Rite on an active warrant,” Tidwell said. “I found an active meth lab.”
Tidwell was acting on a warrant issued for Angela Gail Roberts, 37, of Winfield.
He had information that Roberts was at the motel in room 222.
When he arrived, he smelled what he believed was an active meth lab.
Roberts and the other occupant of the room, Johnathan Ray Madison, 25, of Townley, were allegedly in the process of cooking a batch of meth at the time Tidwell entered the room.
Jasper Police Officers arrested Roberts and Madison and charged them with first degree manufacturing a controlled substance, which could carry up to a 20-year jail sentence.
Both suspects have drug-related criminal records. After the arrest, they were held in Jasper’s jail, but were transported to the Walker County Jail late Thursday. Each of them are being held on a $100,000 cash bond.
Tidwell said the lab was an average lab, not particularly unique or unusual. Members of JPD cleared the room of evidence and contaminants that could be dangerous to others in the motel.
Meth labs in the middle of heavily populated areas are not unheard of, according to Tidwell, but people usually go to more remote areas because the smell serves as an indicator for law enforcement and concerned citizens.
These labs are notoriously unstable and pose a great risk to those manufacturing the drug, as well as those nearby. In addition to toxic materials and airborne risks from the chemicals and vapors, the instability of the labs often triggers explosions and fires.