Deputies, SBI bust meth lab

First Posted: 5/14/2014

ROCKINGHAM — Sheriff’s deputies and state agents say they mopped up a meth lab in a city apartment this week.

Richmond County deputies arrested 40-year-old John Richard Patrick Jr. of North 29th Avenue, Myrtle Beach, S.C., after finding “shake and bake” meth mixers at the Town Park Apartments on Sunday, Chief Deputy Mark Gulledge said.

“We had a report of suspicious activity at that residence,” Gulledge said Wednesday. “Deputies knocked on the door and got consent to search. They found materials used to make methamphetamine.”

Deputies called the State Bureau of Investigation in to collect and destroy the hazardous chemicals used to cook meth, Gulledge said. Patrick is accused of using plastic soda bottles to make small quantities of the drug in a technique known as “shake and bake” or one-pot meth manufacturing.

“We have a great working relationship with local, state and federal agencies to handle this and get these meth labs cleaned up and get them out of our county,” Gulledge said.

Deputies charged the Myrtle Beach man with selling meth, selling or delivering a Schedule II controlled substance, manufacturing meth, possessing meth precursors, maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance, possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Patrick had an outstanding arrest warrant on a charge of assault on a female, Gulledge said. He also faces a charge of possession of a controlled substance on jail premises.

Patrick was booked into the Richmond County Detention Center under a $91,000 secured bond. He is being held without bond on the domestic assault charge.

It was unclear Wednesday whether Patrick was living in the Rockingham apartment or staying at someone else’s home.

Gulledge credits the tip from an area resident with leading authorities to Patrick’s front door and discovering the drugs inside.

“We get numerous reports of suspicious activity, and it takes the people of the community to work with us,” he said. “If something doesn’t look right or feel right, they can call us and we check up on each and every one of those complaints.”

Richmond County residents can tip authorities off to suspicious behavior, criminal activity or a fugitive’s whereabouts anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 910-997-5454.

Reach Editor Corey Friedman at 910-997-3111, ext. 13.