Bell County Sheriff’s Deputy Patrick Brooks arrested two men on Tuesday on drug charges (meth).
According to a Bell County Sheriff’s Office press release, at approximately 5:31 p.m., Bell County Dispatch received a complaint call that there were individuals trespassing on private property possibly manufacturing methamphetamine in the area of KY 74 — past Bell County Coal. Additionally, the caller stated they had blocked the vehicle to ensure that they did not escape.
The release also states that Brooks arrived on scene locating the caller, a witness, and two individuals identified as Lawrence Keck, 38, of Middlesboro and Mickel Maxwell, 30, of Harrogate, Tennessee. The men told Brooks they were digging ginseng root.
Brooks stated he smelled a strong chemical odor consistent with a methamphetamine lab coming from the wooded area behind Keck’s vehicle.
Brooks said upon the search of the vehicle multiple items used in manufacturing methamphetamine were located including what appeared to be an inactive meth lab and drug paraphernalia. Also located were digital scales and bags believed to be used to traffic methamphetamine.
Keck and Maxwell were arrested and transported to Pineville Fire Department where they were decontaminated. They were then lodged in the Bell County Detention Center.
Both of the men were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, first-degree trafficking a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and third-degree criminal trespassing.
Brooks was assisted by Deputy James Taulbee, Kentucky State Police Trooper George Howard and Pineville Fire Department.