Howell Glen Brown and Stephanie Lynn Tucker, both 29, of the Kansas community were arrested and charged with first-degree unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance.
The Jasper Police Department received a call at 11 p.m. Friday night that a strong chemical odor was coming from the Budget Inn on Highway 118, said Jasper Narcotics Division officer Todd Vick. He said when patrol officers arrived on the scene they found the odor was coming from Room 232.
After knocking on the door, Brown answered and a few seconds later Tucker ran into the room saying the bathroom was on fire. JPD Sgt. Jeremy Lockhart notified the Jasper Fire Department, which immediately responded to the scene. Jasper Narcotics members Mitchell Jones, Scotty Wilkins and Vick also responded to the scene.
“They had attempted to flush an active meth lab down the toilet,” Vick said. “It caught on fire, and we’re lucky that it didn’t explode. There was a lot of highly flammable material inside that room.”
Due to the possibility of explosion and the fumes from the labs, police and fire officials evacuated a large portion of the hotel.
“It was a situation where we didn’t want anyone to get hurt,” Vick said. “We needed to evacuate rooms in that area to make sure everyone was safe.”
Inside the room, police found three active “shake and bake” labs as well as a large amount of other material that can be used to produce meth. Police also found several other drugs inside the room including Lortab, Xanax, marijuana and methamphetamine.
Jasper police and fire were on the scene for more than eight hours. Vick said Walker County Narcotics Enforcement Team agents Adam Hadder and Steve Smith also spent several hours helping secure and clean up the hazardous material.
Brown is being held in the Walker County Jail on a $500,000 cash bond. Tucker is also at the Walker County Jail and being held on a $1.5 million property bond.