LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala (WHNT) — The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) says several people were arrested – both in Alabama and in Arkansas – in connection with what authorities are calling the “biggest drug bust in the history of this county.”
LCSO said Jasmond Dewand Foster, 35, of Florence was arrested and charged with several drug charges in connection with the drug bust. Warrants for drug charges have also been issued for three other individuals: Jose Salamon, 36, Edgar Reyes, 36 and Victor Gonzalez, 36, who are all currently in custody in Arkansas.
According to the sheriff’s office, the arrest and warrants are connected to a Lauderdale County Drug Task Force (LCDTF) investigation into drug activity at a residence on Eastwood Drive in Florence. The task force was assisted by other local, state and federal drug agents.
The sheriff’s office said agents observed several men leaving the residence and made contact with some of them, but nothing was discovered on their person or in their vehicle, so they were released.
Another man was stopped and, according to LCSO, he attempted to eat marijuana. He was arrested and charged with second-degree possession of marijuana and tampering with evidence. After that arrest, agents were able to obtain a search warrant for the residence.
Agents executed that warrant on Wednesday, July 26 and found the residence unoccupied, but found what LCSO described as an active “methamphetamine conversion lab.”
The sheriff’s office explained that conversion labs are where liquid methamphetamine is converted through a cooking process into the more well-known “ice” form of methamphetamine. Agents reportedly found various containers in the house filled with substances going through various stages of that process – along with 19 pounds of finished meth.
According to LCSO, the other men seen at the residence before the search had been staying at a local hotel, but left after encountering officers. Narcotics Agents with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency then sent out a Be On The Lookout (BOLO) bulletin for the men’s vehicle.
The men were eventually located and taken into custody in Arkansas, LCSO said.
Over 200 pounds, or around 25 gallons, of methamphetamine liquid was found in the bust. The sheriff’s office said it estimates that around 9 to 13 pounds of solid methamphetamine can be extracted from one gallon of the liquid, and if all the finished methamphetamine was extracted from the liquid – it could have a street value of between $2 and $3 million.
Foster has been charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, first-degree unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance, second-degree possession of marijuana and tampering with evidence.
LCSO said warrants have been issued for Salamon, Reyes and Gonzalez for trafficking in methamphetamine and conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine out of Lauderdale County.