Pender County man pleads guilty in meth lab case - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Pender County man pleads guilty in meth lab case

Jeffrey Brown pleads guilty to meth charges. (Source: WECT) Jeffrey Brown pleads guilty to meth charges. (Source: WECT)
Pictures of toxic and corrosive materials used to make the drugs were presented. (Source: WECT) Pictures of toxic and corrosive materials used to make the drugs were presented. (Source: WECT)
PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) -

A Pender County man apologetically pleaded guilty to several meth charges Monday afternoon in Pender County Superior Court.

Jeffrey Brown, 37, of Hampstead, pleaded guilty before Judge Doug Parsons to conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and manufacturing methamphetamine using a clandestine lab.

Both charges are classified as Class C felonies. Brown received a sentence of six to eight years in the Department of Adult Correction.

"Mom, Dad, I'm sorry for embarrassing all for the mistakes that I've made," Brown said with tears in eyes during the proceeding.

Brown went on and said he is not a drug dealer but an addict.

Brown's arrest stemmed from a March 21, 2014 investigation by the Surf City Police Department.

According to a press release from the district attorney's office, police received a tip that Ryan Haithcock who is charged as a co-defendant in this case, was transporting chemicals to make meth to 145 Edgecombe Community Center Drive in Hampstead.

Officials with the Pender County Sheriff's Office Vice and Narcotics division, Surf City Police Department, and the North Carolina SBI Clandestine Lab Response Unit went to the home.

Officials presented evidence of the meth lab in court on Monday.

Pictures of toxic and corrosive materials used to make the drugs were presented. Officials said these materials had the potential to explode and could've posed a serious threat to the community.

It was also revealed that two children were in the home containing the meth lab.

"Someone who gets addicted to drugs would make a bong in their own home. When you see the pictures of the children there the house was an absolute disaster and they were exposed to it. It was just a tragic situation all around," explained ADA Tim Severo.

According to the district attorney's office, investigations revealed that Brown had several people, referred to as "smurfs" purchasing Pseudoephedrine and other chemicals necessary in the production of methamphetamine in order to evade detection by law enforcement.  

Law enforcement was able to confirm this information through a national data base and video from several stores.

District Attorney Ben David remarked, "This was a complex and sophisticated operation that may have gone undetected if not for the good work of the Surf City Police Department, the Pender County Sheriff's Office, and the SBI Clandestine Lab Unit. These officers are as well trained as any in the state of North Carolina at detecting these labs."

Haithcock's case is still pending. His next court date is August 15. Officials do anticipate more arrests and said the case is still being investigated.

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