On May 21, a Boone couple was arrested by U.S. Marshals and local Police in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on outstanding warrants for manufacturing methamphetamine in Watauga County.
In October 2012, Detectives from the Watauga County Sheriff's Office Special Operations Unit received information that Mark Hoke, 41, was manufacturing methamphetamine in and around Watauga County and began an investigation.
Detectives began tracking Hoke's pseudoephedrine (PSE) purchases using the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEX) in an attempt to confirm whether or not he was manufacturing the drug. While investigating Hoke's activities, detectives found there were others purchasing PSE at or around the same time as him.
After tracking several suspects' PSE purchases, the detectives obtained arrest warrants for Hoke and others involved and attempted to arrest them, deputies said.
Two people were initially arrested, Phyllis Garlock, 48, and Sherry Miller, 57, both of Deep Gap, for conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of precursor chemicals.
Detectives were not able to locate Hoke to arrest him because, officials said, he had warrants from a previous incident involving Boone Police, in which he was charged with possession of meth and possession of precursor chemicals, and was in hiding.
After a concerted effort between both the Watauga County Sheriff's Office and Boone Police Department, detectives learned that Hoke had left Watauga County with his girlfriend, Connie Proffitt, 49, and were believed to be heading to Delaware, where Proffitt had family.
As detectives continued to track the PSE purchases of both Hoke and Proffitt, they learned that Proffitt was buying PSE as she and Hoke were traveling. Detectives told WBTV they believe Hoke wasn't purchasing PSE in an attempt to elude law enforcement.
Records indicate that Proffitt purchased PSE in Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, officials said.
Detectives had been in touch with the U.S. Marshals and requested their assistance in locating and finding Hoke and Proffitt.
Then, Proffitt attempted to purchase PSE at a CVS in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Sunday, May 19, but was denied due to the fact that Iowa limits the amount of PSE someone can buy to 7.5 grams in a 30-day period.
Hoke and Proffitt returned to the same CVS on Tuesday, May 21, to purchase PSE and were arrested by Council Bluffs Police and U.S. Marshals for their outstanding arrest warrants.
Hoke faces charges in Watauga County including two counts of manufacturing methamphetamine (based on two clandestine methamphetamine laboratories), 29 counts of possession of precursor chemicals with intent to manufacture and 62 counts of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.
Proffitt faces up to 25 counts of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and 25 counts of possession of precursor chemicals with intent to manufacture, all in Watauga County.
Deputies say these numbers don't include the numerous purchases of PSE and other Precursor Items in other counties and across the nation.