published Friday, February 6th, 2009

Chattanooga: Meth lab found in East Ridge

by Elizabeth Ryan

East Ridge narcotics detectives seized a methamphetamine lab at the Superior Creek Lodge at 1401 N. Mack Smith Road on Thursday afternoon, according to public information officer Erik Hopkins.

Following an anonymous tip, the police raided Room 261 at the extended stay motel and arrested a white male suspect, whose identity has not been released. The man was taken to the Hamilton County Jail on an out-standing warrant.

Motel owner David Gysin could not be reached Thursday. The on-site manager refused to comment.

The raid is the second meth-related incident involving an East Ridge motel in less than a month. On Jan. 26, police seized a lab at the Cascade Motel at 3625 Ringgold Road, Mr. Hopkins said. Perry Bell, Jr., 29, of Rossville, and Sheena Oliver, 26, of Chattanooga, were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of schedule II narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia, officials said.

Mr. Hopkins said methamphetamine manufacturing is a serious issue in the region and pointed out that Tennessee has one of the highest rates of methamphetamine seizures in the country.

“It’s a serious problem all over the state, not necessarily just Hamilton County or East Ridge motels,” he said. “Here, recently we’ve found it in two separate motels. ... Recently, I would say that we are seeing an increase of meth labs in the whole area and I think if you were to contact Chattanooga narcotics or anybody else in Hamilton County I think they would say they’re seeing an increase as well.”

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