Aiken County meth lab bust

By: Kristen Cosby
By: Kristen Cosby

Aiken County deputies discovered a methamphetamine lab in a Burnettown neighborhood.

Around 6:30 yesterday evening, Aiken County investigators searched this home and found meth cooking in every room, from the kitchen to the attic.

And as an added bonus, they found marijuana growing up the street.

It's clear: homeowners here didn't want people to come inside. They told everyone: this is private property, no trespassing.

But in reality, it may have been an effort to keep Aiken County HAZMAT workers away from the meth lab they discovered Monday.

Michael Frank of the Aiken County sheriff's office tells News 12, “Last night's arrest and finding of this meth lab culminated in a two week investigation.”

Officers arrested Franklin Farrell, Blake Bratcher and Kristie Bratcher for manufacturing the meth.

During the bust, officers also arrested a neighbor, Rusty Noling, for growing marijuana.

Officers say meth was made in almost every room of this house. If you walk by, you can smell it.

Next door neighbor Tanya Walker says she never smelled suspicion, but saw it.

“They were kind of suspicious because they were always having people in and out over there,” Walker says.

The last meth lab bust in Aiken County was in North Augusta in January 2005.

Though Aiken County doesn't have as many meth labs as some counties, law enforcement recognizes its popularity.

North Augusta public safety recently started Meth Watch--where businesses selling ingredients that can be used in the production of meth tell authorities about suspicious purchases.

But businesses can't catch them all, Tanya Walker, mother of three young children, is thankful Aiken County investigators stopped the lab next door before somebody got hurt.

“It was kind of scary to know it could have blown up and we could of been involved in here when it blown up,” Walker says.

Police say if you even suspect your neighbor might me making meth, call them and let them investigate.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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