Johnston County meth bust among largest in recent history
Posted February 22, 2012
Updated February 23, 2012
Smithfield, N.C. — Two Johnston County men were arrested Wednesday in connection with one of the largest methamphetamine lab busts in recent history in Johnston County, Sheriff Steve Bizzell said.
Deputies were trying to serve a warrant on Allen Ray Best Jr., 41, when they attempted to pull his vehicle over around 3:30 p.m. near his Brogden Road home in Smithfield. When Best would not pull over, a short chase ensued.
The chase ended not far from Best's home at 8694 Brogden Road.
Deputies found meth and chemicals to manufacture meth on Best's person, Bizzell said. At his home, deputies found a large meth cooking operation. Authorities found evidence of more meth labs in a wooded area behind Best's home and two miles away at an abandoned store front owned by Best's family.
Deputies seized 70 vessels used to cook meth, capable of producing pounds of the drug. Bizzell said it will take thousands of dollars to clean up the labs.
"This is one of the largest ones we've had and also one of the largest cleanup sites we've had," Bizzell said. "We've got three different sites and three different cleanup sites, which entails a huge cost to the taxpayers."
Best's passenger in the car, James Michael Cook, 22, was also taken into custody.
Both men face charges including manufacturing meth, possession of marijuana and other drugs and conspiracy to manufacture meth.
They were being held in the Johnston County jail under $201,000 bond Wednesday night and will go before a judge Thursday.
Bizzell said the county is starting to see too many meth labs popping up and he would like to see harsher penalties against those convicted.