3 arrested in meth-lab bust in Mount Pleasant

Lauren E. Pender (left), Daniel E. Johnston III (center) and Heidi M. Dawley were arrested by Mount Pleasant police Tuesday night.

Three people were arrested Tuesday after police officers say they tied the trio to a small meth-making lab inside a Mount Pleasant home containing children.

Officers responded to 746 Wakendaw Road at 6:14 p.m. after they received a tip about a possible methamphetamine lab in the house, Capt. Stan Gragg of the Mount Pleasant Police Department said in a statement.

"The investigation did reveal a small scale lab had been operated at this residence on previous occasions," Gragg said. "Officers donned protective equipment and were able to confirm the presence of precursor chemicals but not an active lab."

Daniel E. Johnston III, a 30-year-old resident of Woodlock Road in Mount Pleasant, and 31-year-old Heidi M. Dawley, who lives at the house, were arrested on two counts of exposing a child to meth-manufacturing and/or chemicals. Gragg said Dawley's two children were in the Wakendaw Lakes home when the lab was operating.

Lauren E. Pender, 21, also was arrested on possession of schedule IV controlled substances, possession of drug paraphernalia and providing false information to police officers.

Gragg said paramedics transported the children and an elderly woman to a hospital as a precaution. The woman, who is Dawley's grandmother, was not charged, according to Gragg. The children were turned over to the S.C. Department of Social Services.

Firefighters and officers cleared the scene at 12:21 this morning, Gragg said.