WASHINGTON, BEAUFORT COUNTY - Deputies have arrested two suspects for allegedly running two meth labs.
According to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office, investigators were looking into complaints that 56-year-old Susan Maloney and 48-year-old Randall Burmeister, both of Washington, were purchasing unusual amounts of cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine, a main ingredient in the production of meth.
During the investigation, deputies discovered a meth lab inside a vehicle's trunk at 4502 River Road in Washington Monday evening. Deputies evacuated the surrounding area to prevent residents from becoming exposed to the toxic fumes.
"We don't have this stuff going on down here in this part of the country. And I don't appreciate it," said David Dewitt, who lives across the street.
During their investigation authorities found evidence that Maloney was renting a storage unit located about a mile down the road. They obtained a search warrant for the unit and discovered a second meth lab inside.
Captain Russell Davenport of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office says criminals often rent storage units to engage in illegal activity because they believe law enforcement will have trouble finding them. "In an effort to deter law enforcement away from their home, search the home don't find anything. Well, they hide things in mini storage, don't think we'll search the mini storage," said Capt. Davenport.
The owner of the home at 4502 River Rd. told Newschannel 12 Maloney was an old friend. She wanted to move back east and needed a place to stay, so he let her stay in his home. He believes Maloney and Burmeister are responsible for a fire which erupted in his back yard last week, destroying a shed.
Burmeister and Maloney were arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine on separate counts for both labs. They were each being held in the Beaufort County Detention Center under a $50,000 secured bond.