By Monroe Journal
GATTMAN – Two Caledonia men were arraigned today on charges of possession of a controlled substance (crystal meth) within 1,500 feet of a church.
Josh Otts and James Phil Johnson appeared before Justice Court Judge Robert Fowlkes. Each were charged with both possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance within 1,500 of a church. Bond for each was set at $50,000.
Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell said the men were arrested last night (Jan. 25, 2012) at a trailer in Gattman.
“A HAZMAT team had to come in and clean up,” Cantrell said. “People don’t realize how toxic those materials are.”
Cantrell said crystal meth was a big problem in the state of Mississippi, in Monroe County, Lee County, and everywhere else.
“These guys were professionals. They had surveillance equipment, monitors, scanners. The trailer was just a lab from one end to the other. There were mattresses on the floor where they slept. We found spoons with crystal meth on it. They were buying materials in Alabama and came over to Mississippi. They felt safe.”
Cantrell noted that Johnson had already served time on a similar charge.
“Crystal meth is a big problem,” Cantrell said. “We’d appreciate any leads so we can clean up our communities.”