Walker County Sheriff’s Narcotics Deputy Chuck Tidwell said Matthew Isaiah Ridaught, 34, and Robyn Michelle Shuttlesworth, 32, both of 118 Hemlock Lane in Jasper, were arrested Saturday morning on charges of first-degree unlawful manufacturing a controlled substance, trafficking methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.
“We’re also planning to obtain an arrest warrant on the same charges for a third suspect who fled the scene,” Tidwell said. “This is the second lab I’ve been called out to clean up in the past week.”
Tidwell said the lab was discovered by a member of the Walker County Sheriff’s Patrol Division who was investigating a complaint received Saturday morning. The complaint was called in by someone living in the area of Alabama Highway 69 North and Hemlock Lane.
“During his investigation, Deputy Paul Anderson, noticed a strange odor coming from a mobile home where Ridaught and Shuttlesworth reportedly lived,” Tidwell said. “When Deputy Anderson knocked on the door he heard what sounded like a lot of shuffling around, so when Ridaught answered the door, Deputy Anderson ordered everyone outside.”Tidwell said three people came out, but one fled while Deputy Anderson was trying to secure that scene.
“Deputy Anderson took the other two in custody and then entered the residence, that’s when he discovered three one-pot labs in a back bedroom,” Tidwell said. “One of them was still actively bubbling and two others had already apparently been cooked off.”
Tidwell said various components used to make methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were also discovered at the scene.
“Deputy Anderson did a really good job. It was a very dangerous situation, and if any little thing had gone wrong, that active lab could have exploded,” Tidwell said. “They had a table setup where they were working, and one of the suspects said they had been up all night cooking dope.”
The other meth lab this week was discovered by members of the Jasper Police Patrol Division inside a mobile home located in the Dogwood Acre Mobile Home Park in Jasper.
“The meth labs getting worse and the smurfing of pseudoephedrine in Walker County is out the roof,” Tidwell said. “We’re doing all we can, but we could use more help.”
Walker County Sheriff John Mark Tirey said the deputies with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division are kept pretty busy not only following up complaints that come into the Sheriff’s Office, but also working lab cleanups for several of the municipalities in the county.
“The drug problems we have in our county are as bad they’ve ever been and we could use more help,” Tirey said. “We’re currently down four officers and I don’t know when, or if, we’ll be able to replace them. So we’re having to do the best we can for now.”