By Keeli Parkey
The Erwin Police Department discovered a mobile methamphetamine lab in the car of two Georgia residents last week after one of the residents appeared at the Unicoi County Sheriff's Department.
Chief of Police Regan Tilson said on June 26 that Jettie Ann Barfield, 550 W. Stanfill Street, Harira, Ga., visited the UCSD on Monday, June 25, seeking assistance buying gasoline.
“They ran her warrants and she had warrants out of Florida for grand theft auto,” Tilson said. “She was arrested. She was with an unknown male subject in a white Ford Taurus with Georgia tags.”
Tilson said officers searched for the man on Monday. During this search, they discovered the white Ford Taurus behind a local business.
“We watched the car for a couple of hours (Monday) to try to locate him, but never did,” Tilson added.
The car was towed to the city garage late Monday. On Tuesday, Detective Tony Buchanan began an inventory search of the car.
“We discovered a mobile meth lab,” Tilson said.
Tilson and Buchanan neutralized the mobile lab and safely disposed on its contents Tuesday afternoon. During the search of the car, officers reportedly also found several precursors to the manufacture of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia – needles, spoons, filters and scales – in the vehicle.
“We found all the chemicals needed to manufacture and evidence that manufacture had taken place,” Tilson said Tuesday. “The contents of a small, 20-ounce bottle did test positive for a shake-and-bake lab.”
Also on Tuesday, the unknown male subject called law enforcement inquiring about his car. When he was informed that he would have to speak to an officer, he ended the telephone call.
An anonymous tip late Tuesday afternoon led to the arrest of the unknown male subject. According to the EPD arrest report, officers received an anonymous tip that a man matching the male subject's description was seen on the porch of a trailer on Highland Avenue. Officers went to the trailer and after acquiring consent from the owner entered the trailer and located the male subject who has been identified as Jason C. Yarbrough, 9854 Tall Oaks Road, Pavo, Ga.
“Yarbrough was checked through NCIC and was found to be wanted out of Georgia with full extradition,” the arrest report states. “Soon after the NCIC hit Erwin officers were contacted by the Brooks County Sheriff's Department, Ga. They informed us that Jason Yabrough had been charged with three meth labs in Brooks County, Ga.”
Yabrough was arrested and charged with initiation of methamphetamine manufacture process and with being a fugitive from justice. Barfield was charged with initiation of methamphetamine manufacture process and unlawful drug paraphernalia uses and activities.
By Keeli Parkey