Sheriff's Office busts 4 meth labs, 2 illegal gambling operations
by ELSIE HODNETT
May 05, 2010 | 9559 views |  9 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department seized this shake and bake methamphetamine lab. The meth lab was one of four seized during the past three weeks.
The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department seized this shake and bake methamphetamine lab. The meth lab was one of four seized during the past three weeks.
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ST. CLAIR COUNTY — The Sheriff’s Department continues to work with the community to combat illegal activities in the county.

“We have seized four methamphetamine labs in the last three weeks, and wrapped up the investigations on two illegal gambling operations,” said Rick Oliver, a narcotics investigator for the Sheriff’s Department.

Oliver said the most recent meth lab was recovered Wednesday morning in a wooded area on Bonna Rosa Lane in the Ragland area.

“There were chemicals we had to have cleaned up by One Stop Environmental (who cleaned up the lab Wednesday morning),” he said.

Oliver said the meth lab was a shake and bake meth lab.

“A shake and bake cook can buy everything needed to make meth at a local convenience store,” he said. “They can take about $40 worth of materials and produce about $285 worth of meth.”

Oliver said the shake and bake method of manufacturing meth made the illegal narcotic much easier to make, and made meth labs more prevalent.

“Last week, we had information about a person we had a warrant on,” he said.

Oliver said when sheriff’s deputies went to the residence they discovered a meth lab, and obtained a search warrant to seize the lab.

“We made one felony arrest, and have charges pending for a second individual involved with the meth lab,” he said.

Oliver said Tammy Vinson, 46, of Springville was arrested in connection with the meth lab.

“We also recently concluded two investigations involving illegal gambling operations,” he said.

Oliver said two individuals were arrested in connection with an illegal gambling operation at 3450 Wolf Creek Road South in the Ruru’s Country Store building.

He said Stephen Ramsey, 62, of Pell City and Douglas Griffin, 58, of Cropwell were charged with promoting gambling and selling alcohol without a license.

“We also went to execute arrest warrants at 852 Pine Road, Pell City, and found another gambling operation in an outbuilding at that residence,” he said.

Oliver said Bruce Armstrong, 44, and Livina Armstrong, 39, who both live at that address, were arrested and charged with promoting gambling and selling alcohol without a license.

He said the gambling operations were investigated jointly by the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department and the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board.

“These ongoing arrests are the result of the community working with the Sheriff’s Department,” Oliver said. “We want to thank the community for providing the information necessary to the investigations into these incidents. We plan to work closely with the community in the future, and continue to see such great results.”

Anyone who has information about illegal activities such as illegal gambling, illegal use, sales or manufacturing of narcotics or illegal sales of alcohol should call the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department at 205-884-3333 or 205-884-6840 or 205-594-2140.