06/03/10 — Suspects sought in meth lab blast

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Suspects sought in meth lab blast

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on June 3, 2010 1:46 PM

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William C. Wetherington

Brittany Ann Futrell

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Dustin Bradley Howard

Three people are facing charges after a flash fire-type explosion at an alleged operating meth lab at a single-wide trailer in the 1300 block of Stevens Mill Road, authorities said early today.

Authorities are searching for Brittany Ann Futrell, 20, and William C. Wetherington, 32. Wetherington might have third- to fourth-degree burns on his body. They are wanted on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine.

Dustin Bradley Howard, 25, also is facing charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, but is currently in jail in Beaufort after a Memorial Day arrest on meth-related charges. It was unclear whether he was at the residence at the time of the incident.

Authorities are looking for Ms. Futrell in the southeast area of Wayne County and the northwest portion of Lenoir County. It also was unclear whether she was at the residence at the time of the incident.

Wetherington, who ran from the residence when deputies arrived, is said to be "violent and possibly armed," according to Wayne County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Chris Peedin, a methamphetamine investigations specialist who has been working the case since the explosion took place in the early morning hours on Sunday.

Peedin said he has received scattered reports of a man with charred skin, but those have so far not turned up Wetherington, and the corporal was not totally sure of their accuracy. Wetherington has ties to the Craven County area.

However, he did confirm that the meth lab was in operation and that methamphetamine was stored inside the trailer, but did not release the amount of meth seized. Peedin did say, however, that more charges are likely to follow.