Sheriff: Man arrested with mobile meth labs
by Staff Reports
A 26-year-old Boone man was arrested last week after officers discovered multiple meth labs in his vehicle, the Watauga County Sheriff's Office announced Monday.
Deputies conducted a traffic stop of Ian Clement Corneck on April 18 to serve warrants for six counts of attempting to exceed pseudophedrine limits, according to the sheriff's office. Pseudoephedrine is an ingredient in many cold medicines that can be used to make methamphetamine.
Deputies abruptly halted their search of the vehicle when they discovered what appeared to be a meth lab. Narcotics detectives responded to the scene and began processing the evidence.
Officers located three "shake and bake" meth labs and an active HCl gas generator, which contained an unknown liquid producing a white cloud of smoke from the bottle, according to the sheriff's office. Because of the violent nature of the liquid, the search was stopped to await the State Bureau of Investigation's Clandestine Laboratory Response Team the following morning to help process and neutralize the hazardous chemicals.
The SBI team also assisted in processing four other methamphetamine lab dump sites detectives had seized in the Zionville and Meat Camp areas, the sheriff's office reported. Sgt. Jason Zaragoza said the dump sites were not believed to be associated with Corneck.
"The volatile and unpredictable nature of these methamphetamine laboratories is extremely hazardous to our officers who encounter these chemicals on a fairly regular basis," Zaragoza said. "Law enforcement officers across the state are working hard with state legislators to enact tougher laws pertaining to the control of pseudoephedrine and to make pseudoephedrine a prescription-only medication. Pseudoephedrine is the key component in manufacturing methamphetamine; without it, meth cannot be produced."
In addition to the pseudoephedrine charges, deputies also charged Corneck with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine precursors, maintaining a vehicle for controlled substances, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the sheriff's office.
Corneck was held at the Watauga Detention Center in lieu of a $105,000 secured bond and is scheduled to appear in court May 30.