Two separate methamphetamine investigations in Bluffton have led to four arrests in the past week, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.
At about 3:40 p.m. Wednesday, investigators and SWAT team members searched a hotel room at the Suburban Extended Stay on Fording Island Road, where they believed two men were cooking meth, a news release said. The men returned to the room during the investigators' search. Officers found all the necessary materials for manufacturing the drug, as well as a small amount of meth, the release said.
Leroy Stevens, 54, and Michael Pearson, 35, both of Moncks Corner, were charged with manufacturing and possession of meth and were being held Thursday at the Beaufort County Detention Center pending bond hearings, according to the jail log.
In another incident May 1, investigators were called to May River Court by a woman who reported her son and his friend had been cooking meth at her home, the release said. The pair, who were staying at the home, had been trying to burn the evidence in the fire pit in her front yard, Sgt. Robin McIntosh said.
Justin Moriarty, 29, was charged at the home. Nathan Smyth, 31, was discovered hiding in woods in the Ulmer Road and Foreman Hill Road area, the release said. Smyth was found with meth, morphine and the anti-anxiety medication clonazepam, the release said.
Both men were charged with manufacturing meth, according to the release. Moriarty was also charged with unlawfully disposing potentially hazardous materials. He remains at the detention center with bond set at $120,000, according to the jail log.
Smyth also was charged with possession of a schedule II controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute of a schedule IV controlled substance and littering. He remains at the detention center with bond set at $140,470, according to the jail log.
The Sheriff's Office seized 80 grams of meth in 2013, up from 12 grams each in 2012 and 2011, according to annual reports. Reports for 2010 and 2009 did not track seizures of drugs, aside from marijuana and cocaine.
Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.