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Police find meth lab in home

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Two-year-old child was inside Crestfield Drive home, mom arrested

By Chris Sardelli

 

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Red and blue lights lit up a quiet Gregwood subdivision on Wednesday afternoon, March 12, minutes after a medical emergency led to the discovery of a meth lab. 

By the end of the day, a Lancaster woman, Christy Nicole Knight, 30, was arrested on charges of  manufacturing methamphetamine and exposing a child to methamphetamine, according to a Lancaster Police Department press release. 

The crime scene unfolded shortly after noon on Wednesday, as a large contingent of law enforcement, EMS workers and firefighters swarmed the area near a home at 1405 Crestfield Drive at about 1:30 p.m. 

The cramped scene forced motorists to weave between a plethora of fire engines, patrol cars and ambulances. 

Gregwood is off S.C. 9 Bypass and near the University of South Carolina Lancaster campus. 

Several officers canvassed the scene, while others strung yellow crime scene tape around the perimeter of the house. 

Lancaster Police Chief Harlean Howard said the chaos ensued after someone called 911 Wednesday to report a person who had overdosed inside the home. 

“EMS was called in relation to an unresponsive person. The officers got to the scene and they quickly realized there was evidence of a meth lab,” Howard said. 

According to the release, officers found a man unconscious in a bedroom, whose breathing was labored. The man remained unresponsive despite attempts to wake him and EMS transported the man to Springs Memorial Hospital.

There were three other people inside the home during the incident, including the 77-year-old female homeowner, as well as Knight and her two-year-old son, the release said. 

While inside the home, officers noticed a strong chemical odor emanating from the bedroom and an adjacent bathroom. That’s when officers noticed several items in the bathroom associated with manufacturing methamphetamine, the release said. 

With the possibility of a toxic environment, the house was evacuated. 

Members of the Lancaster Fire Department then went inside the home, examined the hazardous material and confirmed it was a working meth lab, the release said. 

Once the meth lab was confirmed, Howard said her department notified the S.C. Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to have a hazardous material disposal unit dispatched. 

Neighbors concerned 

About an hour after the call, curious residents and motorists trickled through the neighborhood, craning their necks to see what happened. 

One couple, who preferred to remain anonymous, were driving back to their home when they noticed the commotion.

“We heard that house may have been raided last year, but we haven’t heard of anything else going on here,” said a man driving the car. 

A man who lives a few doors down from the crime scene stared in disbelief as several law enforcement agents began to suit up into white HAZMAT suits in a nearby yard.

The man said he rarely sees anyone at the house. 

“I don’t see the neighbors in there. Just see a pit bull walking around sometimes,” the man said. 

At one point during the incident, a white car sped down the street, stopping only inches from a Lancaster Fire Department vehicle.

A woman jumped from the car, waving her hands and asking what happened, though a team of officers quickly told her to get back in her car, and park on the side of the road.

A group of about eight officers then circled her car, with several asking her questions through her driver’s side window. 

She was eventually released from the scene and drove away. 

Down the street, another neighbor watched the scene unfold.

The woman, who also preferred to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, said she and her neighbors have complained about drug dealers on their street before.

“There’s a drug dealer around here who keeps getting out of jail,” she said.  

We’ve seen the drug deals happen near the Pizza Hut and we hear a moped driving up and down our street all night,” the woman said. “We report it, but what’s our system for if they keep getting out of jail?”

Serious condition 

The unconscious man, who was not identified in the release, remained hospitalized Thursday afternoon in serious condition.

Both Knight and her son were also taken to SMH for decontamination. Following an investigation, officers later arrested Knight for the two meth-related charges. She is jailed at the county detention center on a $30,000 surety bond with proof. 

Knight’s son was placed in the custody of the S.C. Department of Social Services, where he remained on Thursday, the release said. 

Investigators plan on pursuing further charges in the case, though it’s unknown the extent of the charges or if they will involve additional suspects. 

 

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416