BENTON -- An observant Scott County Sheriff's deputy on routine patrol arrested an Oran man wanted on a drug-related charge and discovered a methamphetamine lab in the process.
Deputy Scott Skinner was on patrol serving civil process Tuesday when he spotted James W. Hendrix, 59, driving a vehicle, Sheriff Rick Walter said Wednesday. Hendrix was wanted on a Scott County warrant for attempt to manufacture a controlled substance,
Skinner stopped Hendrix on U.S. Highway 61, north of Sikeston, and arrested him on the warrant. During a search of Hendrix's vehicle, Skinner reportedly found a small quantity of marijuana, a pipe and items used for making methamphetamine. Hendrix reportedly admitted to Skinner he had a methamphetamine lab at his residence, and Skinner notified other deputies to search the residence.
Chief deputy Tom Beardslee said deputies certified in methamphetamine lab removal found two small labs in outbuildings at the residence after obtaining permission to search. The deputies seized about four grams of methamphetamine and some heating elements, jugs and other equipment used for the drug's manufacture.
In addition to the original charge of attempt to manufacture a controlled substance, Hendrix is also charged with an additional attempt to manufacture, possession of chemicals with intent to manufacture a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance (marijuana under 35 grams) and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The felony attempt to manufacture charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years if convicted.
Hendrix is in Scott County Jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond for the new charges, plus the $50,000 cash-only bond for the warrant arrest.
"This is why we keep deputies out patrolling the county," Walter said. "They may be serving papers or following up on other investigations and answering calls for service by the public, but they are still alert and watching for criminals who are vulnerable when they are mobile."
Walter said home-based methamphetamine labs are not as prevalent as they once were since state legislation required over-the-counter medications with pseudoephedrine be kept behind pharmacist counters.