Kids removed from meth lab home, deputies say

Autumn Faye Dudrey, Alan Lane Smith and John Glenn Knight II

Three children were taken from a Moncks Corner home this week after deputies say they were found living in the same place where their mother made meth.

The meth lab, revealed Wednesday at 749 Kuffel Lane as the result of an anonymous tip, was the second found in Berkeley County in a week. The children and their mother lived in the same home where chemicals from the "active meth lab" were kept in a bedroom, according to the Charleston County Sheriff's Office.

The mother, 27-year-old Autumn Faye Dudrey, and two men -- 25-year-old Alan Lane Smith of nearby Coral Acres Drive and 24-year-old John Glenn Knight II of Fauling Road near St. Stephen -- each were arrested on a charge of manufacturing methamphetamines and three counts of child endangerment.

After deputies showed up around 6:30 p.m., one of the men admitted to running the meth-making operation, and the home was promptly evacuated. The children, described only as "small," were taken into the custody of the S.C. Department of Social Services.

"They were cooking meth at the moment," sheriff's spokesman Dan Moon said. "Other than needing to be decontaminated, I think (the children) were OK.

"But obviously it can't be healthy. We know that."

Investigators hadn't determined what chemicals were used, how extensive the operation was or whether the trio was selling the meth.

Moon said toxic and explosive chemicals such as those found in brake fluid are commonly used in such operations. In a lab found Jan. 18 on Coveney Court near Summerville, three people were reported to have used red phosphorous, the material on match tips, in a meth-making operation inside a mobile home. A woman and two men also were arrested in the case, which did not involve children.

Hazardous-material experts spent much of Wednesday evening cleaning the Moncks Corner home. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, 5 to 7 pounds of waste can result from every pound of meth produced.

It's not known whether the children could suffer health effects in the future.

"It's commonly known the type of toxic risks that go along with that type of activity," said Marilyn Matheus, spokeswoman for DSS. "That's why they are in our custody."

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or on Twitter at @offlede.