Police arrested two men after information led them to suspect a methamphetamine lab was being run out of a residence in Pinehurst.
The Pinehurst Police Department, in a joint operation with Pct. 2 Constable David Cagle, executed a search and arrest warrant at a home at 2745 40th St. in Pinehurst at around 9:15 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27. Police reported that information was obtained that methamphetamine, known as “crystal meth,” or other illicit substances was being manufactured within the residence. Upon searching the home, police discovered a quantity of methamphetamine as well as paraphernalia and ingredients of a methamphetamine laboratory used to manufacture the substance.
Police arrested 36-year-old David Matthew Lester, who lived at the residence, and Orange resident Darrin Kyle Foreman, 41, at the scene. Both men were taken to the Orange County Jail on a $10,000 bond each for possession of a controlled substance. Foreman has since posted bond, but Lester remained in jail as of Wednesday, Jan. 30. If convicted, both men face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The West Orange Police Department assisted in the operation.
One nearby neighbor of Lester’s said she had a hard time believing he was engaged in such nefarious activities. She said Lester was staying at the home, which belonged to family members, and taking college classes.
“I was just shocked,” the woman said. “I never thought he would be involved in something like that.”
Lester’s neighbor was surprised, but this was not his first run-in with the law. A criminal database search revealed Lester was arrested Feb. 2, 1997, for felony possession of marijuana and was given three years of probation.
Foreman had a prior arrest on April 28, 2010 for driving while intoxicated, a class B misdemeanor, for which he was given one year of probation.
The night of the raid, the neighbor said she was in her house when she saw a suspicious vehicle park alongside the road and two men run across her lawn. She called out thinking it was Lester, but the men identified themselves as Orange County sheriff’s deputies. That was the night Lester went to jail.
Pinehurst Police Chief Fred R. Hanauer III stated that a methamphetamine manufacturing operation is dangerous to the public, as well as those manufacturing the substance, due to the volatility of the ingredients used and the potential for explosions. Ingredients may include red phosphorus, drain cleaner, lithium batteries, acetone, lye, muriatic acid, pseudo-ephedrine nasal and sinus medication as well as other dangerous chemicals. He encourages citizens to call if they suspect something of this nature is occurring.
“Although the residence falls outside of the drug free zone of the West Orange Elementary School, the residence is within one quarter mile of the school, and we will not tolerate this in Pinehurst,” Hanauer added.
Sharon Brooks can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 241, or by e-mail at sharon [at] theexaminer [dot] com (mailto:sharon [at] theexaminer [dot] com)