02/25/09 — Additional charges filed in meth raid

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Additional charges filed in meth raid

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on February 25, 2009 1:46 PM

A Mount Olive area man has been charged with manufacturing methamphetamine for "starting the process" of making meth in the back of his car, authorities say.

The Sheriffs Office has also charged one other person in a traffic stop of Mikel Landis Turner at Best Gas and Grocery off of U.S. 117 Alternate on Friday.

Sheriff's Office Lt. Chris Worth said that Erica Dawn Southerland, of Albertson, would also be charged with two counts of possession of precursor chemicals and possession of methamphetamine.

Ms. Southerland was a passenger in the car when Worth, a member of the Sheriff's Office Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team, stopped Turner, 28, whose last known address is on N.E. Church Road in Mount Olive.

Turner is now in Wayne County Jail under a $100,000 bond for a charge of manufacturing methamphetamine.

He already faced the charges currently levied against Ms. Southerland, who was supposed to meet with deputies on Thursday morning for booking and arrest.

An initial court appearance is set for Turner on February 23, according to his arrest report.

The lieutenant said that Turner had "started the process" of making methamphetamine in his vehicle, creating the strong odor associated with meth labs.

Worth said that Turner's methamphetamine manufacturing setup was not yet an explosion hazard.

"I believe, the way it was (set up), it was a fire hazard," Worth said.

The Sheriff's Office previously said Turner had 80 percent of the parts to constitute a full methamphetamine laboratory in the trunk of his car.