Working meth labs found in truck in Lincoln County - | WBTV Charlotte

Working meth labs found in truck in Lincoln County

(Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV) (Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV)

A routine traffic stop in Iredell County led to several arrests and the discovery of three working methamphetamine labs inside the vehicle.

It happened just after midnight Wednesday along Salem Church Road. A deputy pulled a pickup truck over for minor violations and as he approached the vehicle, according to officials, he smelled chemicals.

"He recognized very quickly what he had," said Lincoln County Sheriff's Captain W.J. Brooks. 

Three people inside were hustled out and narcotics officers and a decontamination crew were called in. Three small "one-pot" meth labs were found inside. One was still emitting vapors. Authorities say that can be toxic and even deadly.

"If inhaled it can definitely cause serious medical problems," said an undercover officer. 

A search of the vehicle only turned up a small amount of the drug, leading officers to believe the occupants of the vehicle may have been smoking meth as they drove and worked the labs inside. It turns out, said officials, undercover officers had been watching the three in the car and others in an ongoing investigation. 

Those three - Rusty Dewayne Johnson, 28, Michael Shawn Yoder, 40, and Morgan Gabrielle Ellis, 22 - were arrested and jailed on various drug charges. A fourth person, Christopher Lee Hayes, 43, was also charged. He was already in jail on an unrelated case. 

A fifth person is also being sought. Jarvis Leonard Miller,32, has an outstanding warrant involving the drugs, said authorities.

Investigators are still collecting evidence in the cases and say more charges and even more arrests are possible.

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