LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Investigators worked for hours after a meth lab was discovered at the Knights Inn motel off Stanton Way. Inside the room they found their suspect, Thomas John Stephens who has a history of manufacturing meth. Also inside, they found his girlfriend and her 13-year-old son.
"We received some calls and some information that this individual was back to cooking methamphetamine, and today in Fayette County we were able to locate his vehicle and some precursors (to meth)," explained Trooper Ron Turley of the Kentucky State Police.
According to KSP, Stephens was charged and convicted of manufacturing meth in 2008. He's since been out on parole, and investigators say it appears he was back to his old ways.
"This is technically his 'M.O.' going into Days Inn, Knights Inn, and places like that and continue his cooking of meth," described Trooper Turley.
The police waited for Probation and Parole officers to arrive before they forced their way into the room. Once inside, they found Stephens disposing of the chemicals, including ether, exposing everyone in the room, including the 13-year old boy. That juvenile was taken to UK Hospital to be checked out, and Child Protective services is now involved.
"That's standard procedure anytime we have a child in a meth lab, it's very dangerous," answered Trooper Turley.
Investigators say Stephens and his girlfriend Jenny Keller were both arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and wanton endangerment. Stephens will also be charged with parole violation.
"We need to get him back off the streets because everybody knows how dangerous meth labs are, how they could explode and in this case we had a child inside," said Trooper Turley, "Hopefully we can get him back behind bars and at least stop him from cooking anymore."
The Kentucky State Police Decontamination Unit and the Lexington Fire Department were on scene to decontaminate the room and the people inside. State Police advised neighbors to stay away from the area, but they were not evacuated.