A traffic stop because of a switched tag led deputies to obtain a search warrant for a room at a local motel and netted officers a clandestine methamphetamine lab and the arrest of two suspects, according to arrest reports.

Charged with manufacture/delivery/sell of methamphetamine are William Lee Ray, 40, 352 Clear Spring Rd., Harriman, and Melissa Kay Page, 34, 2138 Griever's Chapel Rd. Bond for each suspect was set at $20,000 and both are scheduled to appear in Cumberland County General Sessions Court on Dec. 22.

It all began last Thursday when Sheriff's Cpl. Jason Elmore was on routine patrol and spotted a 1991 green Volkswagen driven by Page that had a license plate registered to a 1988 Chevrolet displayed.

Elmore stopped the vehicle on Milo Lemmert Parkway and upon approaching the vehicle, immediately detected "a very strong chemical odor that is commonly associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine," Elmore wrote in his report.

K-9 Officer Kevin Phillips arrived on the scene and deployed his narcotics detection dog around the vehicle, with the canine alerting as to the presence of drugs. A resulting search failed to yield any contraband.

Officers learned that the pair was staying at the Budget Inn on Hwy. 127 so they followed the couple to the motel and again deployed the drug detection canine around the door leading to the room. The dog alerted again so a search warrant was obtained and Investigators Casey Cox and Jeff Slayton responded to the motel, along with Sgt. Rick Lanzilotta.

Inside the motel deputies found a duffel bag that contained components for a clandestine meth lab including muratic acid, hydrogen peroxide, propane with burner, red phospherous, coffee filters and a white powdery substance.

Officers also found receipts that showed the purchase of 17.28 grams of pseudoephedrine between Nov. 6 and Dec. 3.

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