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On, Friday, March 15, deputies from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO) responded to a residence in Jefferson County in order to make an arrest on a man who was wanted in Leon County, for violation of probation.
According to deputies and investigators at JCSO, Paul Branch had a warrant out for his arrest due to a violation of probation – possession of methamphetamine.
When deputies arrived at the address where Branch was residing, they discovered that Branch had another active meth lab and was currently 'cooking' meth on the property.
The deputies contacted JCSO's Sergeant Dan Williams who arrived on scene and investigated the suspected labs.
Using PH strips, the suspected meth was tested and confirmed as methamphetamine.
After the first lab was neutralized, JCSO deputies received a search warrant for the home and conducted an inspection of the residence.
During the search, a second lab was discovered in the residence, under the kitchen sink.
Sgt. Williams suited up in a Personal Protective Equipment
(PPE) suit to investigate and neutralize the second lab before the scene was deemed safe.
Before finishing their examination, deputies would find a third lab – called a “shake and bake” lab – in Branch's truck as well as needles and other drug paraphernalia.
According to Sheriff Mac McNeill, none of the labs that were discovered were 'big, elaborate' labs.
“[Meth cooking] is done usually in a little shed or trailer,” said Sheriff McNeill, adding that most meth manufacturers cook their drugs in a smaller buildings so that in the event that the meth lab explodes it doesn't blow up the manufacturers home.
JCSO deputies and investigators were unable to weigh the methamphetamine and determine the exact weight of the drugs, due to the fact that the meth was currently in oil form and hot and under pressure, due to the fact that it was still cooking.
Paul Branch was arrested and charged with trafficking and possession of methamphetamine.
Methamphetamine, also called crystal meth or just meth, is a highly dangerous and addictive drug that’s synthetically manufactured out of highly toxic household materials.
Those who use meth do so as an emotional and social stimulant, however meth creates a plethora of dangerous health risks, such as sleeping trouble, hallucinations, damaged blood vessels, convulsions, anxiety and paranoia, increased blood pressure and heart rate, brain damage as well as liver, kidney and lung damage.
Due to the rise of meth production facilities, pharmacies are required by law to keep track of purchases of allergy and cold medicines and limitations have been placed how much a consumer can buy in a day.