Meth house busted

Published 9:50 am Monday, November 5, 2018

AHOSKIE – On Halloween, Hertford County Sheriff’s deputies and members of the Down East Drug Task Force knocked on a door in the Union community, but they weren’t begging for candy.

Instead, they eventually found illegal “treats”, leading to the arrest of three individuals, each charged with several felonies, including manufacturing methamphetamine (meth).

Hertford County Sheriff Dexter Hayes identified the arrestees as Tyler Mackenzie Hoggard, age 22, of 852 NC 461 West, Ahoskie; 47-year-old Rachel Dawn Bisbing Odell of 218 Pineridge Road, Pendleton; and Jesse Wade Sykes, age 30, of 327 Rooks Road, Gates.

All were charged with manufacturing meth and possession of a meth precursor, both felonies, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Hertford County Deputy John Timberlake (left) stands watch over Tyler Hoggard and Jesse Sykes, two of the three individuals arrested Wednesday for allegedly manufacturing methamphetamine.

Additional charges included possession of meth by Odell, and maintaining a dwelling to store a controlled substance by Hoggard. Both of those charges are felonies.

The trio was taken to the Hertford County Jail where they were each held under a $400,000 pending their scheduled appearance in court yesterday (Friday).

Sheriff Hayes said his deputies and agents with the Task Force were acting on a tip of alleged drug activity at a residence located on NC 461 within the Union community.

“The Task Force agents were the first to arrive at the residence early Wednesday afternoon,” Hayes said. “When they knocked on the door they noticed, through a clear window located adjacent to the door, a male attempting to hide something behind a bed in the front room.”

Hayes added that after questioning by the agents, Sykes admitted to attempting to hide a piece of aluminum foil.

“Mr. Sykes handed that foil to the agents. It contained a white powder residue; it’s better known as a ‘meth boat’ used by meth users to smoke the substance,” Hayes noted.

The Sheriff added that Odell was sitting on the bed in the front room where the foil was discovered.

“She (Odell) has a previous meth arrest in Northampton County,” Hayes stated.

The Task Force agents then gathered all of the occupants of the residence – Sykes, Odell and Hoggard – into one room. They gained consent from Hoggard (who rents the home) to search the residence.

That search turned up items – known as precursors – commonly used in cooking meth.

“Understanding the volatility of those types of items, the agents immediately ended the search and got everyone outside,” Hayes stressed. “We sent deputies to secure the scene and also contacted the SBI’s Clandestine Lab Response Team.”

That team arrived later in the day on Wednesday. Using a search warrant they carefully sorted through all the meth-related items located inside the residence. All items were documented and photographed. Hayes said four items were sealed and transported by the SBI to the State Crime Lab.

The Sheriff said additional charges are pending.

“Meth is a very dangerous drug, so much to the point where it requires additional action on our part to ensure the safety of our citizens,” said Hayes. “We sealed that residence up tightly.”

Hayes thanked the Task Force agents and his deputies for their professionalism in handling this case.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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