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Authorities: Meth lab found in Wake teacher's home

Posted May 15, 2015

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— A Wendell school teacher and her husband were arrested early Friday after authorities said they found a methamphetamine lab in their Johnston County home.

Lori Riley Whitley, 38, and Gary Nelson Whitley, 41, both of 109 Big Branch Court in Zebulon, are charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, maintaining a dwelling for distribution of a controlled substance and child abuse.

The last charge was a result of an 8-year-old son being in the home, authorities said, noting that he has been put in the custody of the Department of Social Services.

Lori Whitley has been a third-grade teacher at Wendell Elementary School since 2002, according to Wake County Public Schools System spokeswoman Lisa Luten. She has been suspended with pay, Luten said.

Bernard Brodie, who lives next door, called Lori Whitley "a good lady." He said he recently noticed strong chemical odor coming from house but had no clue an illegal drug operation might be there.

"It's unreal. It's unreal," Brodie said.

Gary Whitley was being held in the Johnston County jail under a $207,500 bond, while Lori Whitley was being held under a $157,500 bond.

13 Comments

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  • Mary Zulch May 16, 2015
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    PAID LEAVE? I do not pay Wake county taxes for this kind of behavior. I feel it should be UNPAID, until such a time she is found innocent. IF she is, she should have her pay for the time she did not get it. These are serious charges. Her child in in CPS custody..horrible even for physically and psychologically abused kids. This should be about their son having a home. I don't care about this poor kid's parents.

  • Chip Dipson May 16, 2015
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    I was gonna say that! :-)

  • Tammy Rush May 16, 2015
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    I was gonna say that! :-)

  • Dennis Midkiff May 15, 2015
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    Better call Saul!

  • Wolfpack Granny May 15, 2015
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    I was about to ask if she was involved in the Apex chemistry lab fire until I saw she taught third grade in Wendell. She should never be allowed to teach school ever again. And, don't even mention about her getting her child back. We hear of meth lab fires all the time...how dare she subject her son to those conditions.

  • BobandSue Feltey May 15, 2015
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    Only in America would you be put in jail and get paid! Never see that in a private company, at least I never saw it.

  • Jeff Abbott May 15, 2015
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    Clif is an agricultural technology expert. I think he went to NC State.

  • Clif Bardwell May 15, 2015
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    Nope, not a lawyer, just someone who's not willing to convict someone based solely on a news article.

    So, being on the same property is "red handed"? The article did not say she was stirring the stuff. In fact, the article doesn't even mention she was aware the meth lab existed. It only says she was arrested. Maybe you think being arrested is "red handed"?

  • Clif Bardwell May 15, 2015
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    Why? Because she was arrested and the cops never arrest an innocent person? Maybe it's because she looks so guilty in her mug shot?

    In truth, you have no idea what the story is behind the news article. For all you know, she could have not known that her husband was cooking meth (presuming he was). But why let little things like a the search for truth and such get in the way of a good lynching?

  • Fred Garner May 15, 2015
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    I agree with both of you. But, we all do know she's guilty as sin. Even a third grader knows that.

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