Ardmore families displaced from homes following meth bust - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Ardmore families displaced from homes following meth bust

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The suspects' apartment as well as three neighboring units were put into quarantine. The suspects' apartment as well as three neighboring units were put into quarantine.
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  • Apartments evacuated following meth bust

    Apartments evacuated following meth bust

    Friday, April 25 2014 11:07 AM EDT2014-04-25 15:07:48 GMT
    Authorities in Ardmore TN took three people into custody following the discovery of a meth lab Thursday night. A third suspect injured himself jumping from a second-story apartment.
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    Authorities in Ardmore TN took three people into custody following the discovery of a meth lab Thursday night. A third suspect injured himself jumping from a second-story apartment.More >>
ARDMORE, TN (WAFF) -

Several Ardmore families were not allowed to go back inside their apartments after authorities quarantined part of the complex after uncovering a meth lab. It happened at the Highland Rim Phase Two apartments on Smith Avenue.

The apartment manager said she inspected the apartment on Tuesday and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. When she went inside the apartment Thursday night, she said the fumes hit her instantly.

Joyce Weakley returned to work Friday. Crews had to wash her off and decontaminate her after she exposed herself to the meth. Weakley said she grew concerned after seeing the suspects young grandchildren wandering around the complex. She said she approached her tenants who let her in to the apartment, and after spending 15 minutes inside, she walked out the door and ran to call 911.

Authorities arrested Amber Lynn Jones, of Hazel Green, James David Waldrop and Patricia Dean Waldrop, both of Ardmore. All three were charged with unlawful drug paraphernalia, possession of meth for resale, intent to manufacture, and three counts of aggregated child abuse and neglect.

"I knew," said Weakley. "It was just covered in there. My throat was burning, my eyes were burning, I was hurting, but the safety of my tenants comes first."

According to Weakley, multiple families including a pregnant woman will have to wait several weeks before they can reenter their apartments. The suspects' apartment as well as three neighboring units were put into quarantine.

Weakley said after she got her tenants to safety, she ran to the backside of the building and helped authorities tackle one of the suspects after he jumped from a second story window. Weakley had undergone training in spotting potential meth labs, and she said that's why she knew something wasn't right when she walked inside the apartment.

According to Weakley, all three children that were staying in the apartment were sent to stay with a different family member. The family member picked up the kids a few hours after authorities closed part of the complex down.

Weakley said the suspects stored meth making products inside the walls of one of the units. She said something didn't seem right after seeing cars come and go over the span of a few days, and the kids wandering around the complex without adult supervision.

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