Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Richmond County narcotics officers busted a meth lab around noon Tuesday and arrested three men for making meth.
They raided a home on the 3600 block of Simpkins Lane in Augusta. Michael Ray Blansett, 18; Billy Cowart, 19; and Michael Lee Strickland, 22, were at that home and taken into custody. Investigators say they had methamphetamine and marijuana, and were producing it with children, ages 11 and 13, inside the home.
They have been charged with manufacturing meth, trafficking meth, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. They also face charges for endangering children.
Cowart has also been charged with a motel fire on the 1800 block of Gordon Highway last month. That was a hotel room at the Budget Inn. He's charged with criminal damage to property for that fire. Cowart also had outstanding warrants from the Columbia County Sheriff's office.
Michael Blansett is also listed with charges stemming from an accident. He's facing charges of leaving the scene of an accident, driving without a license, having suspended vehicle registration and having no insurance coverage.
The meth lab at the home on Simpkins Lane was secured by the Hazmat team.