A clandestine lab used for the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine was reported to Historic City News early this morning by St Johns County Sheriff’s Sergeant Charles E. Mulligan, but from a very unlikely scene — a guest room of the Sawgrass Marriott luxury golf resort and spa in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Mulligan told reporters that when Marriott security officials went to the 6th-floor guest room shortly after 2:00 a.m. to inquire about a suspected fraudulent credit card charge, one of the officers noticed items in plain view that appeared to be associated with methamphetamine manufacture.
“Once we were aware of the situation, we cleared four adjacent rooms as a safety precaution,” Media Relations Officer Kevin Kelshaw reported later this morning. “Special Investigations Detectives discovered an active methamphetamine “cook” inside the room along with other articles of drug paraphernalia.”
When deputies arrived, they assisted detectives with the Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Team in securing the scene; while Fire-Rescue hazardous materials handlers disassembled paraphernalia, confiscated as evidence, and cleared the area of dangerous chemicals.
Taken into custody this morning and charged with producing methamphetamine, trafficking methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia were 34-year-old Corey McGann Smith, who resides in Panama Beach, and 29-year-old Amanda N Underwood, who resides in Nashville, Tennessee. Each remains in custody at the St Johns County Detention Facility at this time in lieu of bonds totaling $46,000 each.
Additional charges are pending further investigation, Kelshaw told reporters.
Photo credits: © 2013 Historic City News contributed photograph by Chuck Mulligan