Three arrested in Blue Mountain drug bust

BLUE MOUNTAIN – Three people face drug charges after authorities found what they called a functioning methamphetamine laboratory in a town residence Friday afternoon. The arrests capped an investigation under way for several weeks. It was the first time an operational meth lab had been found in the town. The residence is located near Blue Mountain College, officers said. According to records at the Tippah County Jail, those charged include Tommy Jeter, 38, Phillip Lamar Smith, 40, and Kathy Lynn Southard, 41. Officers said all three lived at the trailer at 105 Mountain Street. All three are charged with possession of precursors and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. Smith is also charged with child endangerment, since a minor child also lived at the residence. The child was not there when officers arrived, but the three adults were. The child is now in the care of the Department of Human Services. Officers from the Blue Mountain Police Department, Tippah County Sheriff’s Department and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics executed a search warrant at the house about 2 p.m. Officers found what Blue Mountain Police Chief Mac Lowery called a “shake and bake” lab. He said the lab had precursor chemicals mixed in 12 plastic containers. Officers also found chemicals that field-tested as crystal methamphetamine, Lowery said. Officers seized equipment they said had been used to make drugs and discarded. Among the items of evidence officers seized: a hand-written recipe for making methamphetamine.

Hank Wiesner/Southern Sentinel