LONDON – Three Laurel County residents were arrested Monday, February 11, after purchasing a key ingredient in the making of methamphetamine while law enforcement officers were watching.
Operation UNITE Det. Brian Lewis was conducting a routine check of sales log books at the Kmart Pharmacy in London Monday afternoon when he observed 36-year-old David Pennington, of Green Meadow Road, London, purchase a quantity of pills containing pseudoephedrine – an essential component in manufacturing meth.
After becoming suspicious of the transaction, Lewis ran Pennington’s information through the new MethCheck database, which has not yet been installed at Kmart. It was learned that Pennington had purchased pseudoephedrine from another pharmacy within the last couple of days.
“That raised a flag,” Lewis said.
Lewis then contacted Laurel County Sheriff’s Det. Brad Mitchell, who was waiting in the parking lot. Mitchell observed Pennington get into a car and another suspect, later identified as 35-year-old Shannon Ramirez of Green Meadow Road London, get out and walk into the pharmacy and purchase pills containing pseudoephedrine.
After Ramirez returned to the car a third subject, 39-year-old Adam “Blue” McQueen of Rader Ridge Road, London, repeat the process.
Shortly after the trio left the parking lot, Mitchell and Lewis -- assisted by Sheriff’s Deputies Josh Gaylord and Jason Back, and London Police Sgt. Derrick House, Sgt. Matt Moore and Officer Nick Jones -- stopped the vehicle at 16th and Falls Street.
Police recovered 100 pills – enough to make approximately 10 grams of methamphetamine.
Pennington, Ramirez and McQueen were each charged by UNITE with one count unlawful possession of methamphetamine precursors.
McQueen also faces a charge of tampering with physical evidence after he swallowed what officers believe was a Hydrocodone pill that had been in his possession.
All three were lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center.
For more information about Operation UNITE visit their website at www.operationunite.org.