Meth lab busted
By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP
Advance Managing Editor
Three people were arrested Monday after agents with the 21st Judicial Drug Task Force searched an Atmore home and allegedly found evidence of a crystal methamphetamine lab.
Gary Charles Gibson, a 32-year-old male, his wife, Selina Lynn Rolin Gibson, a 30-year-old female, and Douglas MacAuthor Rolin, a 33-year-old male of 7400 Jack Springs Road were each arrested and charged with possession and distribution of drugs after a search at the Gibsons' residence at 206 Marshall Avenue in Atmore. Each suspect was charged with unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of controlled substance.
At approximately 1 p.m., agents with the task force along with Escambia County deputies and officers with the Atmore Police Department executed the search warrant. Officials with the task force said they discovered a crystal methamphetamine lab and recovered 5.5 grams of crystal meth along with the chemicals used to manufacture the drug.
The search and arrests came as a result of a on-going investigation that began about one year ago. The task force was investigating the case along with the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Task Force Commander Keith Hutchins said the size and content of this lab made this a big arrest.
Once the suspects were in custody and the search completed, officials with the APD asked for an evacuation of the surrounding residences due to the amount of anhydrous ammonia that was found. HEPACO, a hazardous chemical clean-up company, responded from Birmingham to remove the chemicals.
HEPACO transported the chemicals to Birmingham where they would later be taken to Atlanta en route to its final destination in Guthrie, Okla. where the destruction of such chemicals is performed. The cost to transport the chemicals seized Monday in Atmore to Atlanta will cost the federal government $4,000.
Officials said executing the search warrant was a success.
Sentences for those convicted of crystal methamphetamine charges is the same as those for cocaine which means the three suspects are facing a maximum jail time of 15 years for each charge.
The Gibsons have three children who were not at home at the time of the search. Officers on the scene said relatives will be contacted as well as the Department of Human Resources.
Hutchins said crystal meth is a growing problem.
All three suspects were transported to the Escambia County Jail. Bond was later set at $18,000 for each suspect.
The 21st Judicial Drug Task Force is comprised of the following law enforcement agencies: Escambia County Sheriff's Department, Atmore Police Department, East Brewton Police Department, Brewton Police Department, Flomaton Police Department, Poarch Creek Indian Police Department and the Escambia County District Attorney's Office.
The task force receives 75 percent of its funding from a grant funded by the Bureau of Justice Affairs Division of the United States Department of Justice and which is administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. The remainder of the funding is provided by the Escambia County Sheriff's Department, Atmore Police Department, Brewton Police Department and the Escambia County District Attorney's Office.