Two Lincoln County residents were charged Tuesday night with manufacturing methamphetamine and wanton endangerment of law enforcement officers when sheriff's deputies made an explosive discovery in their vehicle.
David Wayne Roberts, 43, of Kings Mountain, and Keesha Lynn Saylor, 32, of Stanford, were each arrested on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, wanton endangerment and two counts of wanton endangerment of a police officer, according to jail records. Roberts was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Sheriff Curt Folger said deputies responded around 9:30 p.m. to a call about a vehicle trespassing on a property in the area of Lee Banks Road, where they located a vehicle with Roberts and Saylor inside.
Deputies discovered warrants out for both people for failure to appear in court. The department K-9 was deployed and alerted on the vehicle, and a search of the vehicle turned up methamphetamine pre-cursors, according to a news release.
"In plain view we saw meth precursors that led us to believe these subjects were getting ready to make meth or had made meth," Folger said.
A loaded shotgun was also found in the vehicle, which led to the firearm possession charge against Roberts.
Saylor and Roberts were detained in separate vehicles about 150 feet away from their vehicle.
When the vehicle was being towed away, a one-step meth lab that had been hidden in the vehicle caused a small explosion that released fumes, which deputies Ryan Kirkpatrick and Bill Hester inhaled, Folger said.
"It wasn't a huge explosion," he added. "It was more of a subtle type pop."
Kirkpatrick and Hester drove themselves to the hospital for treatment and were later released, according to the news release.
Folger said the wanton endangerment charges stem from the fact Saylor and Roberts made no indication there was anything dangerous in the vehicle before it was towed away.
"They told my officers there was nothing in that truck that could harm them," Folger said.
The road around the scene was shut down for about an hour and a half while officials worked the case. Lincoln County fire and EMS personnel responded to the scene, along with hazmat responders from Pulaski County. State police also assisted.
Folger said the one-step meth lab was utilizing a new "dry process" that creates methamphetamine in a single step without using liquid. He said he was unsure what exactly the lab looked like because it exploded before anyone saw it.
"I myself have never seen one (of the dry process labs) yet," he said.
Saylor and Roberts were lodged in the Lincoln County Regional Jail. Saylor is being held on a $25,000 cash bond, while Roberts is being held without bond, according to jail records.