Local News

Teacher Arrested in Johnston County Cold Medicine Bust

Posted October 2, 2007
Updated October 3, 2007

— A Johnston County teacher has been suspended from her post following her arrest Tuesday in a countywide operation against methamphetamine production.

Amy Snead, 36, of Four Oaks, a second-grade teacher at Polenta Elementary School, which has a Garner address, was charged with possession of an immediate precursor chemical and exceeding the pseudoephedrine limit.

She was released from jail late Tuesday afternoon under a $20,000 secured bond, Johnston County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Tammy Amaon said.

Johnston County schools spokeswoman Crystal Roberts said Snead's suspension is with pay and is pending the outcome of the sheriff's investigation.

Snead was one of five people arrested Tuesday in Operation Pill Crusher, which the Johnston County Sheriff's Office and the State Bureau of Investigation started in July. Investigators searched the logs of 24 pharmacies to target individuals making multiple purchases of pseudoephedrine pills, the main ingredient in crystal methamphetamine.

Those individuals, referred to as "smurfs" in the drug trade, shop pharmacies for pills in exchange for finished meth products for their personal use, the sheriff's office said.

Others arrested on the same charges as Snead were Richard Glenn Turnage, 46, of Benson, who was in jail under a $100,000 secured bond; Stewart Lavon McLeod, 23, of Dunn, $200,000 bond; Christopher Charles Lawhorn, 32, of Benson, $125,000 bond; and Kenneth Scott West, 39, of Benson, $100,000 bond.

Benson police arrested West last month in connection with a mobile meth lab bust, and he was in jail up until a few weeks ago on charges that included possession of methamphetamine and manufacturing methamphetamines.

By the time the operation is complete, as many as 50 people will have been arrested, authorities said.

"The only thing I've got to say is, if you're cooking, we're looking," Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said. "We're not going to sit idle and let the drug dealers – the scumbags and thugs – ruin our community and our families."

A state law went into effect Jan. 15, 2006, that requires all single- and multi-source tablets containing pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, ingredients found in certain cold medications, be sold behind a pharmacy counter.

Purchasers must be at least 18 years old, show photo ID and sign a log to buy these products.

The law limits purchases of these products to no more than 3.6 grams (about two packages) within a 24-hour period and no more than 9 grams (about three packages) within 30 days without a prescription.

"These folks who are using this to make meth have realized there's no central database to keep track of this," said Alan Carroll, who owns Carroll Pharmacy in Smithfield. "(They say,) 'We can stop at Carroll Pharmacy, and then we can go across town to the CVS and Walgreen's and pick it up all over town and get around (the law) that way.'"

So far, however, a central database shared by all pharmacies has been too expensive to undertake.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • noodle Oct 4, 2007

    i'm a friend of hers... i've known her since she was a little girl.... back off conniebritt.... she hasn't done anything to hurt you.... and this isn't done with yet. everyone seems to want to convict her. no one knows what is going on but what the news wants to report. THERE IS TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY!!!!

  • TballCoach56 Oct 4, 2007

    Conniebritt I think you are confused with my comment. I was not actually talking about boo hoo sad. I was merely saying that a woman of her age and education cant seem to find friends her age let alone friends that are decent. That is what I meant.

  • conniebritt Oct 4, 2007

    I'm sorry if I seem negitive. It's not sad. It's stupid.
    People have church, other peers, your children, your parents, yourself. Freedom of choice for the wrong kind of friends....A college educated person surrounded by "the right kind of people" THAT MAKES IT STUPID, IRRESPONSIBLE AND THINKING ABOUT NOTHING EXCEPT WHAT SHE WANTS. She made her choice. Blame her parents..wrong..blame her rasing...wrong. She was fully aware of her choices and WOW I wish I had her education.SAD NO no way!!

  • TballCoach56 Oct 4, 2007

    Sometimes you get the wrong kind of friends and this is what happens.Sad isnt it?

  • mom2threecld Oct 4, 2007

    Now, to comment on the story, we probably wouldn't be reading this as a headline if she wasn't a teacher. becoming a teacher, preacher, dr, nurse, etc doesn't escape you from the evils of life. this is sad, especially for the kids. i think when you decide to be in a profession that is looked at in high regards, you should act accordingly, but people are just human and things happen. hopefully no kids were exposed to these drugs

  • mom2threecld Oct 4, 2007

    To all of you who home school i give you a great big round of applause. it takes alot to do it. i have known a few and the kids education is great. bravo to you!!!!!!!!!!

  • mom2threecld Oct 4, 2007

    to the DUMMY that made the comment about ECU, you must have had NO education, my daughter graduated from WFR hight school with a 4.25gpa1 SHE chose ECU to be an english education major and teach high school or college. whether you know it or not, there aren't that many colleges around that the teaching degree extends above grade school level. just because someone goes to ecu, doesn't mean they can't go anywhere else. she was accepted at unc,unc-w, uncg and harvard. so maybe you should talk about what you know....

  • conniebritt Oct 3, 2007

    Hey tulips4445 I don't know your friend the accused. If I did she would not be a friend of mine. How hard it is? It's not hard to help someone if the person who is the "friend is not in denial" I think you must be her friend;are you in denial? I think so because you seem to me that you are making excuses for her and hey tulips4445 there are no exceses for this behavior. I heard she may have children do you think you can now asssist her because she really will need a friend nowtulips4445=are you that friend now?

  • BlowupDollWithChatAmbitions Oct 3, 2007

    I can't believe someone would make such a stupid comment about homeschoolers. I have homeschooled my children and my sister in law has homeschooled 5 of hers. My oldest daughter will be completing her senior year and has already been accepted to Duke University as well as UNC Chapel Hill. My niece began college this year. Both are doing extremely well. Homeschoolers aren't just a bunch of spoiled brat children that are secluded from the real world. Actually, colleges go out of their way to get homeschoolers. Making generalizations about any group such as homeschoolers, races, blondes, etc....just shows how ignorant that person is for making the statement.

  • noodle Oct 3, 2007

    will everyone just let her be. what about the next 45 that will be busted????