Since about 8:00 a.m. this morning, Historic City News has received word that St Johns County Fire Rescue has been on the scene with members of the Sheriff’s Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Team; the second day of responses to highly combustible meth labs for county agencies.
Today’s incident, still in progress, called for emergency hazardous materials handlers to be dispatched from both the city and county fire departments into a heavily wooded area on Poinsettia Road; between Kings Road and San Juan Drive in St Augustine Heights.
County spokesman, Matthew Sara, told Historic City News that, as of right now, there are no injuries or subjects transported to the hospital. “There were some precautionary evacuations in the immediate area,” Sara told reporters. “This is still an active scene.”
Two men were arrested late yesterday on methamphetamine charges at the scene of an active mobile meth lab inside a vehicle in the area of Deer Run and Thompson Bailey Roads.
A description of the vehicle was given to deputies who spotted it moving in the area. As deputies began to follow the vehicle, the driver quickly turned down a dirt driveway where the deputy conducted a traffic stop for an inoperable brake light.
The owner of the vehicle, who was not the driver, consented to a search of the vehicle, a 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Deputies located a mason jar with suspicious liquid in the back seat that was believed to be part of an active meth lab.
Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office Meth Response Team responded and confirmed the active meth lab. The four occupants of the vehicle had to be decontaminated by County Hazmat personnel.
Two of them, the driver, identified as Frank Freitas Higginbotham, 35, Cross City, and a passenger, Kristopher Leon Robinson, 31, 829 Francis St., were each charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell, production of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia and were booked into the County Jail.
Following first appearance hearings this morning, Higginbotham is being held on bonds totaling $402,000 while Robinson is being held without bond.