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.
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.
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.