Fire response leads to meth lab discovery

By | November 29, 2013 12:00 am

A White County Sheriff Department sergeant on patrol on the evening of Nov. 15 saw a large fire burning at a residence that has led to a Sparta resident facing her second round of methamphetamine charges this year.
According to a report by Sgt. Daniel Trivette, he noticed the fire behind the residence located on Flatt Street at approximately 9:27 p.m. and notified dispatch. He then went to the residence to see if the home was actually on fire and to see if there were any burn permits on file for the address.
Sgt. Trivette states that when he arrived at the residence, he could “hear several people running around inside the residence and talking but no one would come to the door.”
Dep. Joseph Thomas and Sparta Police Office Nick Dunn came to assist Sgt. Trivette at the scene, and the officers stated that they smelled a strong chemical odor that they believed was coming from the home.
Sgt. Trivette reports that he again knocked on the door and “loudly” announced himself as an officer of the law, and still no one would come to the door.
“Finally a female subject came to the door and asked what was going on,” Trivette says.
According to his report, Sgt. Trivette asked that the homeowner, Edna Guffey, age 41, of Sparta, come to the door, but the other occupants of the home reportedly told him that she was asleep and they could not wake her.
Sgt. Trivette says he then “went inside the residence to wake Ms. Guffey up and make sure that she did not need medical attention.”
Guffey allegedly told officers that she was unaware of a fire burning on her property.
Sparta Fire Department arrived on the scene and ensured the fire was extinguished.
According to Sgt. Trivette, inside the fire pit was a green substance that he says is consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine.
The officers procured a search warrant at that time to search the residence.
Located in the front yard, Sgt. Trivette states, was a one-pot meth lab along with meth waste materials. Inside the home, he allegedly discovered additional meth debris and the remnants of another meth lab.
According to Sgt. Trivette’s report, occupants inside the home informed him that Guffey began destroying evidence of the meth lab upon his arrival at the residence.
“It appeared that the fire located in the back yard was also set to destroy items related to a meth lab.”
Guffey was arrested and charged with initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine, tampering with evidence and violation of the drug free school zone law.
Detective Craig Capps also assisted with the investigation.

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