Suwannee Democrat

Local News

July 12, 2013

Jennings couple arrested for meth lab and child abuse

Jasper — A Jennings couple was arrested and booked into Hamilton County jail on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and child abuse, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.

Reports show that on Wednesday, July 10, Bruce Everice Thornton, 62, and Melanie Faith Fields, 41, both residing at 3037 NW 37 Blvd., Jennings, were arrested after an ongoing investigation by the Hamilton County Drug Task Force for operating a meth lab.

With assistance from Echols County, (Ga.) Sheriff’s Office, the drug task force arrived at the couple’s residence to conduct a “knock and talk” and detected very strong chemical odors that were consistent with the production of methamphetamine. After donning protective masks, officers knocked and Fields opened the door. She was immediately removed from the residence, along with a special needs child, reports state.

HCSO said Fields advised officers that Thornton was in the master bedroom lying down. Thornton initially refused to come out of the bedroom, but finally complied and was removed from the residence without incident.

Reports further state that all three subjects were decontaminated by Hamilton County Emergency Management and EMS. The special needs child was transported to a Lake City hospital for treatment and the Department of Children and Families was notified.

Due to the dangerous risks involved with a meth lab, such as fire or explosion, a protective sweep/search was conducted. Two plastic bottles of cooked meth were located inside the residence and were removed and made safe, authorities said.

A further search warrant revealed various meth, smoking devices, gas generators, ammunition, lye and other drug paraphernalia inside the residence. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was notified of the incident. Fields and Thornton were placed under arrest and booked into Hamilton County Jail on $50,000 bond each, according to HCSO.

Both subjects were charged with child abuse, possession of narcotic equipment, manufacturing of methamphetamine, and a capital charge of manufacturing 400 grams or more of methamphetamine. Additionally, Fields was being held for the Georgia State Probation Office for a warrant of theft by deception, reports show.


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