Tuesday, 25 June 2019 17:30

Pair charged with making meth in Richmond County

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ROCKINGHAM — A Richmond County pair is facing a slew of drug charges related to cooking meth.

Court records show 50-year-old Tricia Suzzanne Kern, of Tiny Lane, allegedly exceeded the legal purchase limit of pseudoephedrine on May 17.

State law limits the purchase amount to 3.6 grams per day and 9 grams per month. Buyers are also required to provide a photo ID and a signature for each purchase.

She was arrested on June 18, however, that warrant had not yet been returned to the Richmond County Clerk of Superior Court’s office early Tuesday afternoon.

Warrants taken out by investigators with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office on the same day state she and 54-year-old Daniel Joseph Kern were in possession of several key ingredients in making meth: pseudoephedrine, ammonium nitrate, lithium metal, sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid and a petroleum-based organic solvent.

The Kerns are each charged with six counts of possession of a precursor with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine; one count of manufacturing methamphetamine; and one count of maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance.

Tricia Kern is being held under a combined $105,000 secured bond; Daniel Kern is being held under a $100,000 secured bond.

They are scheduled to appear in court July 11.

Online state records show neither has any other pending charges or prior convictions in North Carolina.

All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

This case could potentially be turned over to the feds.

In 2014, the sheriff’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina initiated a federal meth conspiracy investigation, which has resulted in the prosecution of more than 60 individuals for their roles in methamphetamine production in Richmond County.

The latest available statistics from the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation show that there were six meth lab busts in Richmond County in 2017.

Agents also responded to six labs in Anson, Cabarrus and Davidson counties.

Onslow County had the highest number of meth labs (21), followed by Rowan (15), Johnston (14) and Stanly and Iredell tied for the fourth-highest with 10 each.

Meth lab busts across the state began a steady rise in 2010 with 235 before peaking in 2013 with 561. Since then, busts have decreased annually: 557 in 2014; 467 in 2015; 376 in 2016; and 232 in 2017.

Richmond and Anson counties tied for the third-highest number of meth lab busts (27) in 2015.

There are no figures available for 2018.


Last modified on Tuesday, 25 June 2019 17:37