3 arrested in bust of meth lab

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Daily American Republic

PATTERSON, Mo. -- A methamphetamine lab operating with what authorities describe as unusual equipment was seized Monday afternoon in Wayne County. Three have been arrested.

"We got a call that Chris Shoemake was at a residence cooking methamphetamine in a shed," said Wayne County sheriff's deputy Bobby Burch, who is assigned to the SEMO Drug Task Force.

The residence, which was a recently burned house trailer, is where Shoemake had lived at one time, Burch said. It was about 50 yards off of Highway 143, south of Sam A. Baker State Park.

Burch and Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Larry Plunkett Jr. arrived at the residence at about 5 p.m. "As we pulled into the driveway, three subjects took off running in different directions," he said.

Arrested at the scene were Garry E. Fears, 50, of Farmington, Mo., and Cindy D. Harmon, 27, of Patterson. They were arrested on suspicion of attempting to manufacture meth and resisting arrest and booked at the Wayne County Jail pending the filing of formal charges.

Shoemake, 30, of Patterson was arrested at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Burch said. Shoemake was booked at the Wayne County Jail on suspicion of attempting to manufacture a controlled substance and resisting arrest.

Charges stem from what was found inside the shed.

Revolver found

When officers with the sheriff's department, task force, highway patrol, Missouri Water Patrol and Piedmont Police Department entered the shed, "we found an active methamphetamine lab with all the chemicals, apparatus and everything," Burch said.

A loaded .22-caliber revolver was also found lying in the middle of the chemicals, which is Shoemake's calling card, Burch said. "Every lab we've got him in, he has left a loaded gun."

No finished product was found, he said, adding that he thinks they were in the first stage of the process.

Burch described the shed as being similar to a small, one-car garage.

"It was a decent-size lab," Burch said. "There was some unique equipment we've never seen before."

He said they were waiting to find out for sure what the equipment was.

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