First Posted: 1/14/2009
Mount Airy police spent much of Wednesday investigating an alleged methamphetamine operation in a city public-housing area, which prompted the evacuation of neighboring residences Tuesday night.
Charges have been filed against one individual as a result, who was still at large Wednesday evening. He has been identified as Michael Shane Blaylock, whose age and address were not available.
About a dozen people who live in three housing units near one at 1120 Granite Road had to leave their homes about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday as a precaution, according to Lt. J.A. Freeman, who was on the scene Wednesday.
The four homes are among a cluster of duplex apartments in the public-housing area situated between North Main Street and Riverside Drive.
Freeman explained that police had received information Tuesday night that someone possibly was manufacturing crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, at the 1120 Granite Road address. This led to the evacuation, since meth operations have been linked to fatal explosions and the release of toxic chemicals.
The displaced residents were allowed to return to their homes Wednesday, according to Maj. Jeff Wolfe.
An initial search of the exterior of the 1120 Granite Road home turned up evidence indicating the possible production of meth there. Meth precursors were located in a trash can at the rear of the residence, according to Freeman. Precursors generally are substances or combinations of them, including certain over-the-counter cold medicines and diet pills, which are associated with meth labs.
After those items were located, authorities sought to obtain a search warrant for the inside of the residence from a local Superior Court judge. In the meantime late Wednesday morning, police learned that a woman linked to the home would allow a consent search of the premises.
The subsequent search involved a special-response team from the State Bureau of Investigation which is trained to detect and handle the potentially deadly substances. Chemicals were found inside the structure which are consistent with methamphetamine production, Freeman said.
An analysis was conducted on the substances by the SBI team, said Freeman, who added Wednesday night that a separate environmental team was coming here to further process them.
The evidence discovery resulted in multiple felony warrants being issued against Blaylock, who was not an actual occupant of the residence. He has been staying there, explained Freeman, who mentioned that additional warrants could be filed as the investigation proceeds.
The woman who officially resides at 1120 Granite Road has not been identified because she hasnt been implicated in the crime.
Anyone with knowledge of Blaylocks whereabouts is asked to call the Mount Airy Police Department at 786-3535.
Contact Tom Joyce at [email protected], or at 719-1924.