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5 charged in raid on meth lab

MONTICELLO — Five people were arrested Thursday during anafternoon raid by sheriff’s deputies and drug task force agents ona crystal methamphetamine lab.

Bill Jackson, 23, of Wesson, is charged with possession ofprecursors with intent to manufacture, driving while licensesuspended under implied consent law and expired tag. Jason Mullins,25, of Lee Hedgepeth Road, Monticello; Marion Watts, 45, ofCarmel-New Hope Road; Nathan Watts, 20, of Carmel-New Hope Road;and Wesley Watts, 18, of Carmel-New Hope Road, all face a charge ofconspiracy to manufacture crystal meth, according to LawrenceCounty Deputy Willie Wallace.

Wallace said the arrests were the result of a vigilantcitizenship.

“We received some tips that merchandise was being gathered atthis location (on Carmel-New Hope Road) to manufacture thesedrugs,” he said.

Deputies Wallace, Chris Cox and Timmy Daughdrill and an agentwith the Pearl River Basin Narcotics Task Force began asurveillance of the home around 9 a.m. Thursday, he said.

Around 2 p.m., Wallace said, the suspects became suspicious ofthe action and were noticed loading something in the back of apickup.

“When a certain vehicle left the premises that had something onthere it shouldn’t,” Wallace said, “we stopped the vehicle forexpired tag.”

The vehicle was stopped on Lee Hedgepeth Road.

“We found all the precursors needed to set up a crystal meth labin open view in the back,” Wallace said.

Deputies then began a search of the home on Carmel-New HopeRoad.

“We found where they had burned some of the precursor packagesand found some stuff that had been used on previous cookings,”Wallace said.

Wallace said it was anonymous tips like those received in thiscase that would help them crack down on crime in the county.

All five suspects will have their initial hearing today.