Man charged with making methamphetamine after September investigation

Man charged with making methamphetamine after September investigation

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - An investigation that began in September has resulted in the arrest of a Gold Hill man on charges that he was manufacturing methamphetamine.

Deputies arrested

Christopher Douglas Earnhardt, 34, of 13175 Old Beatty Ford Road, Gold Hill, on a variety of charges related to the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

On September 18, 2014, the Rowan County Sheriff's Office and the North Carolina Division of Adult Probation and Parole went to 2475 Liberty Road in Gold Hill, in order to "locate an individual for a probation search of his person and of his home," according to a sheriff's report.

Upon entering the open front porch, officers, including one trained in clandestine laboratory investigations, noticed an open backpack sitting on the floor of the porch.

In plain view, officers observed a soda bottle, containing a clear liquid with white sludge and pieces of black metal.  There was also a canister of Coleman Camping fuel in the backpack.  On a grill in the front yard was another plastic soda bottle, containing similar materials as the one in the backpack.

These items were all consistent with the manufacturing of methamphetamine.  The Rowan County Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Unit (SIU) were called to assist in the investigation and obtained a state issued search warrant for the residence.

The SIU was assisted in the investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Clandestine Laboratory Response Team and the Liberty Fire Department.

Earnhardt arrived at the residence during the execution of the search warrant.  Earnhardt acknowledged that the methamphetamine laboratory belonged to him.

On Monday, the Sheriff's Office issued warrants charging Earnhardt with two counts of trafficking methamphetamine by possession and manufacturing, one count of maintaining a dwelling to keep and sell controlled substances, one count of manufacturing methamphetamine, four counts of possession of immediate precursor materials, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.  Earnhardt bond was set at $350,000.