The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Pair charged after Culpeper meth lab found
BY DONNIE JOHNSTON
A Culpeper domestic dispute resulted in the discovery of what is believed to be the town’s first meth lab.
A neighbor called police about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday and reported “yelling and cursing” coming from inside a home on Meander Drive. Two boys, ages six and seven, were at the home.
While investigating the incident, town police discovered “what appeared to be the beginning of methamphetamine lab in the garage,” according to town public information officer Wally Bunker.
Investigators were then called to the scene and arrested 26-year-old Crystal Deavers and 23-year-old Robert Hawthorne Jr.
Hawthorne and Deavers were each charged with two counts of felony child endangerment, two counts of manufacturing methamphetamine with a child present, one count of possession of materials to manufacture methamphetamine and one misdemeanor count of domestic assault.
Hawthorne faces an additional charge of misdemeanor resisting arrest, Bunker said.
Police blocked off the street and evacuated six nearby homes as officers began removing dangerous chemicals from the home.
Officers from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the Virginia State Police and the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the cleanup.
Units from several volunteer fire departments and medics from the Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad stayed at the scene while police and federal agents handled the hazardous materials.
County building official Bob Orr later declared the house unsafe.
“The meth lab [was] creating an uninhabitable situation,” Orr said.
The officers who discovered the meth lab, the two young boys and the two suspects were taken to Culpeper Regional Hospital for decontamination, Bunker said.
One town police officer suffered a slight injury to his hand while arresting Hawthorne, Bunker said.
“It was a team effort,” said Culpeper police Chief Chris Jenkins. “Without the support of all the agencies and organizations that responded, the incident would not have been handled as smoothly.”