While the idea of the portable meth lab certainly existed before Breaking Bad, the show seems to have had a significant impact on meth culture with more and more mobile and “public” labs on the rise. These days, one just never knows if a meth lab is in the hotel room next to yours or the car beside you at the red light. The motel meth lab marks a new chapter in white trash folklore.
Do you know any great North Carolina meth lore? Know of any busts that need to be added to the database? Let us know!
September 28, 2015 at Gaston Inn in Gastonia, NC
While serving an arrest warrant on a woman for alleged probation violations, police discovered what they say was an active meth lab in her room at the Gaston Inn. Police later arrested a man they said was trying to get past the barricade tape in order to buy meth. A total of six separate arrests were made in relation to the meth lab bust.
September 3, 2015 at Anson Inn in Wadesboro, NC
Police arrested a woman and a homeless man upon finding a meth lab at the Anson Inn. Police discovered them outside of the hotel in their car, which they say contained drugs and a one-pot meth lab. Police reported strong chemical odors in their hotel room. The hotel was closed for cleaning.
January 14, 2015 at Irish Inn Motel in Goldsboro, NC. Room 218
Law enforcement officials in Goldsboro arrested four people (3 men and 1 woman) for manufacturing methamphetamines in Room 218 at the Irish Inn Motel. Hazardous chemicals were removed from the room.
September 14, 2014 at Traveler’s Inn in Four Oaks, NC
Police discovered a meth lab at the Traveler’s Inn in Johnston County early Saturday morning. Then, after rooms close to the meth lab were evacuated for safety reasons, police discovered a second, unrelated meth lab in another room. Reports state that two children had to be “decontaminated” before Social Services took custody of them. A total of six people were arrested.
September 11, 2014 at Mid-Town Motor Inn in Gastonia, NC
Police in Gastonia, while responding to a domestic dispute call at the Mid-Town Motor Inn, discovered that the room contained meth ingredients and strong evidence that meth had been cooked there.
April 4, 2014 at Lion Inn in Albemarle, NC
Police were alerted to the Lion’s Inn hotel after a small explosion occurred in the room of a Gastonia man. Police eventually charged the man with manufacturing meth. The explosion shattered windows, blew a hole in the room mattress and started a small fire. Police recovered batteries that had been cut, Drano and acid.
January 30, 2014 at Seashore Motel in Atlantic Beach, NC
Atlantic Beach Police responded to a call at the Seashore Motel and discovered materials (some hazardous) associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine. Dustin Warren has since been convicted of three felony drug charges and is serving a sentence of between 21 to over 27 years in prison.
December 1, 2013 at Hostess House Motel in Newport, NC
A man and a woman were charged with manufacturing meth at Hostess House in Newport after an anonymous tip led to a police investigation. Rooms close to the alleged meth lab had to be evacuated to ensure safety… those rooms had elderly people and a baby in them. It happened to be the same day that a new North Carolina law went into effect, which adds 2 years onto a sentence in which meth is manufactured in close proximity to kids or the elderly.
August 10, 2012 at Relax Inn hotel in Monroe, NC
Police evacuated an entire side of the Relax Inn after finding a meth lab in one of the rooms at around 9 p.m. The hotel meth lab was found after a traffic stop, during which the suspect was found to have another meth lab in his car.
March 11, 2011 at the Old Goldwater Motel in Dudley, NC
Three people were injured in the Old Goldwater Motel in Dudley during a meth lab explosion that blew the front off of the room. The three were arrested for their alleged involvement with the lab, while a man believed by police to be an accomplice ran like hell. The three were the only ones who were injured in the explosion and the motel sustained little damage beyond that particular room.
June 29, 2009 at the Royal Inn Suites in Burlington, NC
A maid found the first confirmed meth lab in Burlington when she walked in to clean a room at the Royal Inn Suites. A small fire had caused damage to the room and a strong chemical odor lingered in the room. Police began a search for the two occupants of the room, who had supposedly fled the scene.
February 9, 2008 at Comfort Inn in Lincolnton, NC. Room 121
Lincolnton Police discovered Lincolnton’s first known meth lab at a Comfort Inn, thanks to a tip from Crime Stoppers. Two people were arrested but only one was charged with manufacturing meth. Guests close to the room were evacuated until it was decontaminated by the SBI.
August 1, 2007 at Scottish Inns in Henderson, NC
This is one of the earliest cases of a meth lab in a North Carolina hotel that I could find. In one of the articles, it clearly states that police said it was very rare to find a meth lab in a hotel or any public place. Anyway, at 2:30 in the morning of August 1st, two guests called the front desk to complain of the strong smell of acetone. Shortly afterward, hotel employees called the police, who discovered a working meth lab in one of the rooms.