7 charged in Wilson County meth lab bust

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Sheriff’s deputies arrested seven people after shuttering a “shake and bake” meth lab operating out of a rural Wilson County home Tuesday.

Authorities raided the home at 4651 Wiggins Mill Road after obtaining a search warrant, according to Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Chief of Staff Wanda Samuel. Deputies found 2 grams of methamphetamine and precursor chemicals used to make the drug.

James Edward Coley, 37, and Sandra Jo Coley, 62, lived at the home northwest of Lucama, which deputies had been investigating for suspected drug activity. James and Sandra Coley were arrested along with four men and a woman accused of helping to operate the meth lab.

Samuel said four children ranging in age from 1 to 14 were living at the home. Deputies contacted the Wilson County Department of Social Services to evaluate the children and ensure their well-being.

“I am extremely proud of the work that was put forth to dismantle this methamphetamine operation,” Sheriff Calvin Woodard said in a statement. “With this type of volatile substance in a residence with children, it truly disturbs me. The ‘shake and bake’ method could have exploded, thus causing a chain reaction and great harm within the community. I appreciate the collaboration with our law enforcement partners as we continue to remove illegal narcotics from Wilson County.”

“Shake and bake” or “one-pot” meth labs generally consist of plastic bottles used to mix methamphetamine. The combustible chemicals make small-scale operations just as dangerous as traditional meth labs.

The State Bureau of Investigation clandestine lab response team assisted Wilson deputies along with the Wake County Sheriff’s Office and Cross Roads Volunteer Fire Department.

North Carolina had 376 meth lab busts in 2016, according to SBI figures, down from 467 in 2015, 557 in 2014 and an all-time high of 561 in 2013.

Wilson County deputies arrested the following suspects:

• James Edward Coley, 37, 4651 Wiggins Mill Road, Wilson, nine counts of manufacturing methamphetamine, one count each of possession of meth precursors and maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance; $100,000 secured bond.

• Kevin Daniel Lee, 35, 6304 Shiloh Church Road, Bailey, six counts of possession of meth precursors; $100,000 secured bond.

• Sandra Jo Coley, 62, 4651 Wiggins Mill Road, Wilson, four counts of possession of meth precursors; $25,000 secured bond.

• Thomas Colon Rozier, 30, 4711 Potato House Court, Wilson, four counts of possession of meth precursors, $25,000 secured bond.

• William Paul Coley, 59, 6020 N. Whitley St., Apt. A, Kenly, three counts of possession of meth precursors; $20,000 secured bond.

• Brittney Ashley Batts, 22, 4657 Wiggins Mill Road, Wilson, one count of possession of meth precursors; $3,000 secured bond.

• Jason Shawn Perry, 31, 6822 Wheat Swamp Road, Lucama, one count of possession of meth precursors; $2,000 secured bond.