Local News

Parents Face Meth, Child Abuse Charges

Posted April 25, 2008

— Sampson County sheriff's deputies said they found two toddlers in a dangerous situation when they busted a methamphetamine lab Wednesday.

Jennifer Adkins and Richard Rhodes, both of 8130 U.S. Highway 421 in Clinton, face child abuse charges. Deputies said a 1- and 3-year-old children were inside the couples' home – along with enough components to make up two meth labs.

"It's mind boggling to think someone would do that to their own children," Capt. Eric Pope said.

 Making meth requires explosive chemicals, he added.

Children were living in 20 to 25 percent of homes caught up in meth busts statewide over the past three years, according to State Bureau of Investigation records.

Making meth requires using explosive chemicals that are dangerous to those exposed to them, Pope said.

"Just based off the chemicals alone and the fumes that they produce, it could cause death to someone," Pope said.

A medical exam showed that toddlers found in Clinton have not suffered any effects after being exposed to the chemicals. They had some injuries from scratching flea bites, authorities said.

An anonymous tipster told the state Department of Social Services that the children had sores consistent with the manufacturing of meth.

Neighbors expressed surprise that the children they had seen playing were in such a dangerous situation.

"They're innocent. They didn't know what was going on," neighbor Doris Boykin said.

Boykin said she had noticed different smells coming from the house, the parents burning things in the yard and a lot of people stopping by the house at night.

"It smelled like some kind of chemistry or something," she said.

The toddlers, whose names were not released, were placed in the custody of Social Services.

Adkins and Rhodes also face charges of manufacturing methamphetamines and other violations. Both were being held in the Samspon County Jail Friday night.

Adkins was under a $150,000 bond and Rhodes, under a separate $300,000 bond.


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  • mom2threecld Apr 25, 2008

    poor babies, those two adults don't deserve kids. i hope someone who really wants kids and can give them a loving, safe home can adopt them. to the comments about rehab...you need to work with these folks, a small percentage do recover, but most don't.

  • threewakecountyboys Apr 25, 2008

    hazeyc wrote: "I do believe if these people receive intensive treatment they could be rehabilitated to be productive citizens and good parents to their children."

    And I don't CARE if these parents can be rehabilitated, at least when it comes to their kids.

    The children need to be put up for adoption to a stable family unit that can provide love, security and hope for them. If the parents want to be "rehabilitated", fine. Just don't make the kids wallow in uncertainty until the parents decide to "get it together". Children only have a short time to be kids; it shouldn't be spent waiting for their "parents" to get rehabilitated.

  • Tired Of Excuses Apr 25, 2008

    "So now a family is ripped apart by addiction because we rather criminalize drug addiction rather than treat it as a health issue."
    Give me a break. Did someone MAKE these parents manufacture Meth, I seriously doubt it. They chose to do this of their own free will and they have endangered the lives and welfare of their children.
    I don't care that they are addicted...take their children from them and give those kids a chance at life with parents who will not put their addictions first.

  • Americanpatriot Apr 25, 2008

    methamphetamine's smell is just awful. i can't believe these people did this. i hope the kids are ok.
    meth is the hardest drug to quit; once you start it has your soul forever. meth is the devil.The people make it from household cleaners, like windex or 409.it has a very acrid, sour smell.

  • CrewMax Apr 25, 2008

    You've heard of undocumented workers? These are undocumented pharmacists.

  • tirwilliams Apr 25, 2008

    The statement that meth is an epidemic in the white community is not an "ethnic slur" - no more than saying AIDS is an epidemic in the Black community or malaria in some 3rd world country, etc...I just don't know if it's reached "epidemic" proportions, but it is definitely a problem. Statistics show that meth use is highest amongst whites in rural areas of the West and Midwest and has slowly trickled east in the past 20 years (google it), and is thus on the verge of becoming an “epidemic” in our society. So, the statement is what it is. Drug use/addition is a sad situation, and is always exacerbated when children are involved. With gas prices as high as they are and food prices going through the roof, unfortunately, we can only expect these issues to persist, unless something is done.

  • discowhale Apr 25, 2008

    it doesn't say they were arrested for USING meth, it says they were arrested for manufacturing meth. What they were addicted to was easy money.

    I repeat, jack up the jail...

  • garden Apr 25, 2008

    I didn't know ethnic slurs were tolerated here. Mama you should be ashamed. Those two people are losers no matter what color they are.

  • LocalYokel Apr 25, 2008

    meth bandits are not the only child abusers we have but they get a lot of press. When an adult smokes tobacco in close proximity to children this is also abuse. I feel sorry for the kids being abused by cigarette smoke daily in cars or houses they share with smokers.

  • cool_rocker999 Apr 25, 2008

    They deserve life sentences for their crimes. Think about the lives of innocent children from their customers that have been affected. What a shame.