Carter County

Deputies find large meth dump site

CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. - Five people, including a mother, face charges after deputies say they found a big meth dump site.

On Sunday afternoon, Regina Harrison heard a commotion next door on Riverbottom Road in Elizabethton. "I heard some kind of big vehicle," she said. "I looked outside and saw cop cars, ambulances and Hazmat lined up and down the road."

Lieutenant Mike Little with the Carter County Sheriff's Office said police were called to the house regarding ongoing domestic violence complaints, but they found much more. "They went in the home to talk to the female and smelled a very strong chemical odor associated with the manufacturing of meth," he explained.

Police quickly got everyone out of the house, including 29-year-old Heather Stevens and her toddler.

Once they started searching, deputies reported finding more than 20 one-pot meth labs. "The evidence was right outside the window. I saw every bit of it," Harrison said. "It was a big tarp and it was covered."

The meth labs were found in the house, back yard and in the trash. "This was an extremely large cleanup effort," said Little. "A typical cleanup takes one to two techs about 30 minutes to an hour. This one utilized all four techs and took about four hours. The magnitude was tremendous."

Stevens was arrested along with her boyfriend, Lance Nidiffer, and three other men. They all face various meth charges. Stevens also faces an aggravated child endangerment charge.

Deputies say Stevens admitted meth had been cooked in the house earlier that day by Nidiffer and the other men. Deputies believe the child was in the house at the time. She has been placed in the custody of a family member.

According to the arrest report, Stevens is documented having bought pseudoephedrine 16 times since July 2012. The most recent purchase was January 16, 2013.

Lt. Little said the investigation is ongoing.

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