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Couple faces drug charges after police find meth lab in duplex

Law enforcement officials are worried that residents in upstate South Carolina are becoming more interested in buying meth as the number of meth labs continues to grow. Drug agents recently came across their fourth meth lab in York County so far this year. A 29-year-old man and his 26-year-old girlfriend now face drug charges for drug manufacturing.

Deputies executed a search warrant on the morning of April 16 at a duplex near Winthrop University in Rock Hill, about an hour outside Columbia. They came across a meth lab in the man's bedroom. Hazmat crew members were called to the scene to remove various drug manufacturing paraphernalia from the home. They were there until the afternoon wearing gas masks and protective clothing. The man remains in jail as he awaits a bond hearing.

Manufacturing drugs, such as meth, is illegal and can result in stiff penalties depending on the amount produced and the geographic location. In addition, if children are found living in a meth home, then the penalties may further increase. Often, state and federal laws both apply. Furthermore, some states have mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines that apply, so the penalties for even a first offense can be steep.

A person's criminal history can also influence the type of penalties they can face for drug manufacturing. Fines, prison time, community service and mandatory enrollment in a substance abuse program may be imposed. This will often depend on the judge, as he or she has a substantial amount of discretion to penalize a person accordingly based on the circumstances.

Anyone who is accused of any drug crimes should understand the severity of the charges against them. Moreover, the accused must assert their rights and put up the best possible defense to the charges. While nobody condones criminal activity, the accused are always entitled to a presumption of innocence.

Source: WRHI, "Drug agents shut down 'one pot' meth lab near Winthrop, 2 arrested," Andrew Kiel, April 16, 2013

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