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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Active meth lab found during traffic stop

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

James Lofland
An anonymous tip led to the discovery of a clandestine meth lab Tuesday.

According to a press release by Clay County Sheriff's Department, around 7:45 a.m., Tuesday, a tip was provided to CCSD about a fugitive who was seen at a family-owned property in rural Clay County. Once in the area, members of the CCSD and Indiana State Police Department began to look for the truck matching the description of the vehicle the fugitive had been reported driving.

When the truck was located, officers saw three males inside the truck.

As one of the males sitting in the truck bed began pouring a liquid from a container, officers reported smelling the odor of chemicals commonly associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine when they got closer. The suspect then threw the container out of the truck before a traffic stop was initiated.

Michael Pitts
While questioning the suspects, officers noticed a white powder splattered down the side of the vehicle and a large amount of the same substance inside the truck bed.

Officers detained the three men while recovering the container from the road, which was discovered to be an "active cooking" clandestine meth laboratory.

All three suspects were taken into custody and transported to the Clay County Justice Center.

The driver, Michael Pitts, 48, Brazil, was arrested and preliminarily charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of anhydrous ammonia, possession of precursors, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia and maintaining a common nuisance.

Sherry Lanahan
The front-seat passenger, Sherry Lanahan, 36, Terre Haute, was preliminarily charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of anhydrous ammonia, possession of precursors and visiting a common nuisance.

The passenger in the truck bed, James Lofland, 40, Terre Haute, was preliminarily charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of anhydrous ammonia, possession of precursors, illegal dumping of controlled substance waste, obstruction of justice and visiting a common nuisance.

Pitts and Lofland remain incarcerated on separate $25,000 cash bonds, while Lanahan is incarcerated on a $7,000 cash bond. All three are awaiting formal arraignment per the court calendar.

Officials told The Brazil Times more arrests are expected as the investigation continues.

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Three cheers for the tipster. maybe when more people realize,that if they help the police instead of running them down,this problem of meth can and will be curtailed. REMEMBER the police are not your enemy,unless your a crook! checkmate

-- Posted by checkmate on Wed, Jun 3, 2009, at 9:51 AM

They all three look like hot messes to me. My goodness when are people going to learn that drugs are horrible!? Great job to everyone involved with their arrest.

-- Posted by jessdixon on Wed, Jun 3, 2009, at 12:56 PM

The really sad thing about this is that they are all old enough to know better. 36 to 48..I know drugs shows no preference as to age, and the monitary gain is only temperary until caught with the evidence. But is ones life and criminal record really worth the risk? Not only do they lose their freedom, but everything else thereafter as well.

Sorry guys...your room awaits you at the Clay County Hilton. Enjoy your stay, and don't expect any flowers or cards from us out here.

-- Posted by Keeping An Open Mind on Wed, Jun 3, 2009, at 2:23 PM

> Throwing a meth lab out of the back of a moving vehicle while the police are following...what was this guy thinking?

-- Posted by flycatcher on Wed, Jun 3, 2009, at 6:09 PM

This drug is a scourge on our nation. It is highly addictive; most are addicted after just 1 use. It contains ingredients that are all extremely toxic (with the exception of H2O) and the people that are involved with the use, process and distribution of this drug are career criminals or by the very nature of it's addictive properties, will be soon. It is time we all demand that internet sites that post the ingredients and process of making this drug are removed. It is time we said, NO MORE to this known killer. I have had close (former) friends that started using this drug; he was an intelligent engineer, now he's a babbling shell of his former self that his whole life is concentrated on his next pipe full of meth, he is psychically and mentally a different person, one that no one wants to be around or can trust. We must demand that the people that manufacture this crap be held to account for the damage it does to lives.

-- Posted by uncommonsense on Wed, Jun 3, 2009, at 6:12 PM

We need to stop the madness.

-- Posted by classof1979bhs on Wed, Jun 3, 2009, at 8:55 PM

Where are all the people who complain about the whiners? No one telling the posters there isn't a drug problem in Brazil/Clay County. That they aren't praising the police for doing their jobs? Telling them that they should be doing more themselves instead of complaining? You should be ashamed for not speaking up!!

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Thu, Jun 4, 2009, at 8:05 AM


They're not your enemy until your government wants to plunder your constitutional rights.

...but mostly, you're correct. Like anything, police powers can (and are) abused. We are lucky to live in a county where the officials are mostly respectful of our constitution and the rights given to us by God.

That being said, they are doing a fantastic job of cleaning up "Scourge Of Meth". In the past, I've been a proponent of legalizing a lot of the subjects of the "War On Drugs" because, A) Constitutionally the government has no right to tell you what you can consume (they abuse the Commerce Clause to justify it) and B) its not working. However, there are some things that are just too "hot" to turn loose. Meth is one. The war on drugs has been executed poorly, however, the war on meth has not. Its a real threat to our society and it needs to be stomped on. The Clay County Law Enforcement people do a great job.

What were these idiots doing, anyway? I'm glad they got them off the road. Just what me need, a rolling, toxic bomb ready to explode in Clay County.

I would like to see a "Meth Tipsters Tip Sheet". I am often out and about on country roads and I'd like to know what to look for and "sniff" for. ...or maybe that wouldn't be a good thing to publish since it would tip off the meth cookers.

-- Posted by TheRider on Thu, Jun 4, 2009, at 8:14 AM

LOL to Lee Thall, guess you could have cleaned up on your bet last week with all the stories in the paper this week. (BTW: I was on your side on that one!)

But honestly, you are very right to point out there is a terrible METH problem not only here, but across the nation. You, and others like you, are very passionate in that conviction, and so are the law enforcement officers at work in this county. It also shows in our local newspaper and on this website.

See any other local newspaper/television station covering the results of this drug problem the way it is in this paper? Seeing these stories on a regular basis made me renew my subscription to the paper. Our community can't ignore the drug problem because it's in our face on a weekly basis.

I worry about the tragic day in the future when an idiot blows up a meth lab and innocent people are killed, a police officer or innocent person who happens to be in the area gets shot or a child trapped in a meth house dies because they don't know what their eating. Those things are happening in other areas and it's only a matter of time before it happens here.

When people complain without purpose or knowledge, problems start. When the complaints are off-handed, sarcastic, cheeky and cavalier, people aren't sure what's being said, but feel they should be angry about it. Finger pointing isn't a positive response in any situation unless, of course, you're pointing out a criminal activity!

As for being a part of the solution, I've personally made several reports of suspicious activity in my neighborhood.

Have they helped, I don't know for sure.

The point is, I kept an eye out for my neighbors, whether they wanted me to or not, and I tried to help.

I've also educated myself on what to look for when the sheriff's department and the state police have held drug forums at the schools and my church. (TheRider: You can learn what Meth smells/looks like during and after the cooking process at these seminars! And you can also get pamphlets of helpful information on what to look for in your neighborhood.)

I have also went to the justice center and asked to see officers and learn from them what to do. (Pamphlets in the hallway!) I had to wait a while because they were busy doing their jobs, but, as soon as they could, they called this "old nobody" back because I asked for help.

I'm sure Lee Thall/TheRider (and all the others who comment in the same like-minded fashion) that you have also taken the same steps you need to fight back. Can you share and enlighten the rest of us with any other places of useful knowledge?

I apologize for typing so much, but this subject hits home with me.

-- Posted by Cy on Thu, Jun 4, 2009, at 11:44 AM

Maybe the Times could start a contest. Ask, "How many Meth and/or drug arrests will be made in Clay County in July"? They could give away a free subscription to the paper. Anyone arrested would not be elgible, so that would cut way back on the odds. :)

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Wed, Jun 10, 2009, at 2:03 PM

Pitts is a three time felon now, he should go down for life this time, but our prosecutor will probably allow the drug crazed Diablo loose to further his pursuit of leveling the scurge upon our community....................

-- Posted by babydog on Sat, Jun 13, 2009, at 2:01 AM

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