Berkeley deputies bust meth lab

Law enforcement officers, one of them in protective gear, catalog some of the items taken from the trailer at right when the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office busted a suspected meth lab on Coveney Lane, in the Sangaree area.


SUMMERVILLE --- Deputies who entered a mobile home to serve a bench warrant summoned a HazMat team after noticing what apparently was a large methamphetamine making operation, authorities said.

Two men and a woman were arrested by Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office deputies who went to 111 Coveney Court, in the Sangaree area, about 3 p.m. Wednesday, sheriff’s office spokesman Dan Moon said. Deputies and firefighters, some in white protective suits, were still carefully removing cooking gear and potentially volatile chemicals from the home after dark Wednesday.

Moon said Brian Truelstead, 42, Joseph Byrd, 57, and Kentlee Larsson, 26, all believed to have resided at 111 Coveney Court, are charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. Byrd is also charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance. All three were taken to the Hill-Finklea Detention Center in Moncks Corner.

Moon said deputies came to the trailer to find Truelstead and serve him with two General Sessions Court bench warrants and a warrant for a probation violation. Deputies found and arrested him, and while in the home noticed what they concluded were materials used in a meth lab.

“The lab was not active but it recently had been,” Moon said. “It hadn’t been that long,” he added.

He said the meth-making operation is believed by investigators to be the type called a “red phosphorous lab.” Phosphorus is used in the making of match heads and can burst into flames or explode. According to a web page, lye, phosphine gas an iodine vapor are also used in making meth in a red phosphorous lab. These ingredients and others used in the process can be extremely dangerous.

A Coveney Court resident, Roland Ward, said he has rarely seen the residents of the trailer that was raided, but at times has heard loud arguing coming from it, and “an odd smell, something that you don’t smell every day.”

Ward called the finding of the meth lab “not cool at all. We have got little kids and anything could go wrong” when a meth lab is around, he said.