Four people were arrested for operating a meth lab in Whitley County on Saturday night.
They did not just find drugs there. Four kids were also inside the southern Williamsburg home, all younger than 13 years old.
Sheriff Lawrence Hodge started investigating reports of a meth lab on Kensee Hollow in southern Williamsburg last week. But when he heard there were kids living there, he knew his men had to work quickly.
"We stepped things up and did a knock and talk. When I walked up, the smell was already knocking me out," Hodge said.
Officers found one adult with four children downstairs watching TV, while three other adults were in the attic cooking meth.
"It makes you sick to your stomach to see kids abused like this. That's what you have to call it is abuse," Hodge said.
Officers arrested Obie Stephens (28 years old), Ronald Wayne Overbay (45), Susan Overbay (38), and Bradley E. Petrey (26). They are in custody at Whitley Detention Center. Each was charged with wanton endangerment and manufacturing methamphetamine.
Sheriff Hodge says he found one of the men holding two one-step labs, and evidence all around the home.
He also says that one telling sign of a meth lab is burned piles of garbage. This is how cookers try to get rid of the evidence.
He is relieved to have these alleged meth cookers behind bars.
"We're glad to shut it down and put a dent here in our drug problem," Hodge said.
However, he is still worried about the children found. They were immediately decontaminated and transported to Jellico Community Hospital as a precaution.
Social Services accepted responsibility for them, and the children will be put in foster care.
The DEA decontaminated the house early Sunday morning, and it is now condemned to live in.