A Lowndes County couple will spend some time behind bars after a bizarre series of events led to the discovery of a Meth Lab on Herrick Ln. that was being guarded by a rattlesnake.
The adventure began after four County electric crews called authorities Friday afternoon to investigate someone stealing electricity, and Lowndes County Deputies Mark McGairty and Randy Collins arrived at 135 Herrick Ln (off of Mac Davis Rd.) to investigate.
As the resident of the trailer emerged, McGairty immediately recognized the suspected electric thief as Kevin Patterson, a well-known hooligan who has spent most of his formative years in and out of local prisons. McGairty radioed E-911 for a warrant check, but it came back negative. The Deputy then called Pickens County, Ala. Sheriffs and had them check to see if they were looking for Patterson. As it turned out, Patterson was wanted for outstanding warrants for Possession of a Weapon by a Felon and Possession of Dangerous Drugs (methamphetamine). Patterson was taken into custody and brought to Pickens County to face the charges.
Just as McGairty was wrapping up his shift for the Sheriff, around 5 p.m., he noticed a large plume of smoke billowing from the end of Mac Davis Rd., not far from where Patterson’s home was. McGairty arrived at the home to find familiar faces Chris York and Tracey Peeks attempting to extinguish a large grass fire with buckets of water and blankets. Accompanied by Narcotics Agent David Criddle, McGairty raced to help with the fire and radioed in for Volunteer Firefighters to come to the home.
After the fire was finally extinguished, Criddle noticed what appeared to be the remnants of a methamphetamine “generator” lying in the ashes in the yard. Criddle briefly questioned Peeks and York and them immediately requested and was granted a search warrant for the property. York was released after he told authorities he had only “stopped by” to help Peeks put out the blaze.
Just as agents from the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and Lowndes Narcotics arrived on scene with the warrant allowing him to search the home, Peeks immediately denied knowing anything about “the stuff” they would find inside. Inside the trailer and adjacent makeshift shelters, authorities discovered several precursors to manufacture methamphetamine, methamphetamine and Oxycodone.
Guarding the stash was a four foot long rattlesnake housed in a glass aquarium. Deputies brought the reptile out to the main road to get a good look at it in their headlights, and then radioed animal control. After consulting with animal control and their superiors, the snake was gently returned to the living room of Patterson’s home where it was found.
Tracey Peeks was charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine and Possession of Oxydone. It has not been determined if Patterson will face charges in relation to the meth lab or the electricity theft.
A neighbor who spoke with The Packet on the condition of anonymity said that they had only been in the home for a few weeks, “I never seen anyone f##k up a property that quick.”
Another neighbor chimed in with mock surprise, at the situation, “All those ramshackle buildings and s##t in the yard?…Meth, huh? surprise, surprise, suuuuuuurprise!”