DIXIE INN — Dixie Inn police say they arrested an Athens woman Sunday who reportedly hid a bag containing items they believe were the makings of a meth lab.
Kelly Deanne Ely, 39, of the 200 block of Faulk Road in Athens, was arrested Sunday, Nov. 8, and charged with creation or operation of a clandestine laboratory for the unlawful manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and introduction of contraband into a penal institution. She also had an active warrant through the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office for contempt of court.
Dixie Inn Police Chief James Edwards says they received a phone call Tuesday, Nov. 3, in reference to a woman stashing a bag underneath an unoccupied house. The caller advised the woman, later identified as Ely, was not familiar to the neighborhood. There was no reason for Ely to be at the home, he said.
“We went over there to the residence and found a big gym bag, and once we opened it up, we found all the things needed to cook meth,” he said. “They weren’t cooking at the time, but they had all the ingredients, the equipment, the chemicals and those things.”
Items in the bag included straws, clear tubing, Draino crystals, hydrogen peroxide, coffee filters, a camp stove, fuel and other items.
He says two witnesses saw her stash the bag underneath the house, and one showed police the location of the bag.
Edwards and Officer Robert Davis obtained a warrant for her arrest. Webster Parish Sheriff’s narcotics agents assisted in the investigation, helping officers identify the items inside the gym bag.
Edwards says Davis received a call Sunday that Ely was back in the area. Davis made contact with Ely and placed her under arrest. The chief says she admitted to putting the bag underneath the house, but did not admit to ownership of the bag or the contents inside.
“She said she was holding it for somebody else,” Edwards said.
Ely was transported to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center for booking. During processing, a search of her purse revealed suspected marijuana inside, along with two pills identified as cyclobenzaprine, Edwards said.
“The good thing about this is someone thought something wasn’t right and they called this in,” he said.
Children live in the neighborhood in which the house is located, he added.
“Even though the residence was unoccupied, had they started cooking that stuff and it exploded, kids could have been in danger or harmed.”
Edwards says other charges may be pending.