By Michael R. Moser
A Cumberland County man is charged in connection with a crude clandestine methamphetamine lab that was found not far from a daycare facility by a security officer with the Crossville Housing Authority.
Arrested Monday was Tracy Norman Wright, 44, 1267 Muddy Branch Rd. He is charged with initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine, and with promotion of the manufacture of meth, according to Ptl. John Karlsven's report.
Crossville Police are attempting to identify a second man who may be involved in the incident.
Karlsven and Ptl. Jonathan O'Neal responded to a call in a wooded area behind CHA units at the end of Obed St. around 4:30 p.m. Monday after CHA Security Officer Paul Turner reported finding two men holding items that were discarded when the men fled.
The officers determined the meth lab found was "active" and Det. Danny Harris and Maj. Mark Rosser also responded to the scene.
The officers came into contact with Wright, who told them he was in the woods looking for a walking stick when he stumbled onto the lab, at about the same time the security officer arrived on the scene.
Wright just appeared in Criminal Court in March to answer an indictment charging attempt to initiate the process to manufacture meth. Public Defender's Office appointed to represent the defendant and case was continued to the April 26 discussion docket and May 10 deadline docket.
Evidence was collected at the scene and toxic materials were disposed of. A search of the area yielded several discarded items associated with the clandestine manufacture of meth, leading officers to believe that other labs had been in operation in the wooded area in the past.
Police are investigating the distance of the lab and components from a nearby daycare facility to determine if additional charges should be filed.