UNION — What began as a mobile home fire ended with the arrest of three people for allegedly attempting to make meth.
Gene Warren Moore, 43, 1201 Old Buncombe Road, Union; James Bradley O’Shields, 30, 121 Magnolia Circle, Union; and Marcie Lynne Loyd, 32, 121 Magnolia Circle, Union, are each charged by the Union County Sheriff’s Office with attempting to manufacture methamphetamine.
The incident reported stated that the Southside Fire Department was dispatched at 11:15 p.m. Friday to a structure fire at O’Shields and Loyd’s residence. Shortly after the department was dispatched to the scene, dispatch stated that the fire may have been the result of a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory.
Deputies were dispatched to the scene and by the time they arrived the firefighters were ventilating the mobile home with fans. After obtaining written consent to search the structure from O’Shields, deputies went inside the building and found the area around the sink had sustained substantial burns and had damage to the tile on the floor, the cabinets, the ceiling, the walls, and counter top areas. They also noticed a burned container of Coleman fuel on the floor near the base of the sink along with a lot of tin foil. Also on the floor was the remnants of a plastic milk jug containing ammonium nitrate pellets.
There were coffee filters that appeared as if they might have been used in a previous methamphetamine cook soaking in a glass on the kitchen counter. The door to the microwave oven was open and the machine had been severely damaged by heat from the fire. In the cabinet area of the living room, deputies found a light bulb that had been manipulated to to smoke methamphetamine.
Deputies then brought O’Shields and Loyd back into the mobile home for questioning. After being read their rights, O’Shields and Loyd gave voluntary written statements about the incident.
Loyd said that she’d methamphetamine the previous weekend that she’d gotten from Moore and that he’d recently asked her and O’Shields to purchase him a box of Sudafed which he was using manufacture methamphetamine. She said that she and O’Shields had purchased a box of Sudfed and given it to Moore.
Loyd said that on the evening of the fire, she and O’Shields were sitting on their couch when Moore knocked at the door and asked to come in side and use the sink to wash off. She said that while Moore was at the sink, there was an explosion followed by the fire. She said Moore then gathered up his bags and ran out the door.
Loyd said she also ran out of the mobile home while O’Shields attempted to put out the fire with towels. Unable to extinguish the blaze, Loyd said O’Shields joined her out and they waited in the yard until firefighters arrived.
O’Shields said he’d bought some Ephedrine for Moore two weeks earlier and also admitted smoking methamphetamine the previous weekend provided by Moore. He said he knew Moore was cooking methamphetamine and that was what he’d used the pills for.
O’Shields said that when Moore came to the trailer earlier that evening and asked to wash his hands, he’d been accompanied by a white male by the name of Kal who stayed outside. He said Moore went to the kitchen sink and began messing with chemicals and then put something in the microwave. O’Shields said Moore asked him to show him how to put the microwave on high and he did. A short time later something blew up in the kitchen. He said he tried to put out the ensuring blaze but was unable to do so.
O’Shields said Moore then gathered up his belongings and fled the scene before deputies arrived. He said Moore had been living in a nearby trailer.
Based on their steps and the evidence gathered at the scene, Loyd and O’Shields were placed under arrested and taken to jail.
Dispatch later informed deputies that Moore had been located at a residence on Lovers Lane Road. Deputies then went to the residence and arrested Moore who was described as very spastic and shaking, having constricted pupils and not being able to speak clearly which the report described as common symptoms of methamphetamine use. Moore was then taken to jail.
The report stated that in the days leading up to the fire deputies had received complaints about a white male matching Moore’s description purchasing Coleman fuel and lye from an area hardware store two to three times a week. Both chemicals are used to make methamphetamine.
Damage to the mobile home was estimated at $2,000.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.