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Fire unearths meth lab

By By Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
A homeowner’s attempt to remove the remains of a property damaged by fire several months ago led to the discovery of a methamphetamine laboratory in Hartselle Tuesday afternoon.
Anthony Bradford, 45, and Carol Ann Dean, 40, both of Hartselle, were arrested after his property at 210 Hammitt Street was searched by drug agents with the Morgan County Drug Task Force. Uncovered in a two-story garage were supplies used to make meth.
Bradford was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine in the first degree and possession of methamphetamine. He was taken to Morgan County Jail on $7,500 bond. Dean, of 713 Short Street, is charged with possession of methamphetamine. Her bond was set at $2,500.
Hartselle police were called in to investigate after firefighters discovered items used to make meth in a burning trash can, according Hartselle Fire Chief Steve Shelton. They in turn notified the Morgan County Drug Task Force for assistance.
Drug unit investigator Jim England said a search of a garage on the property uncovered a large quantity of supplies used in the manufacturing of meth. “The evidence we’ve found is indicative of a large scale red phosphorous clandestine meth laboratory,” he said.
A frame house on the property was gutted by fire several months ago and the owners had been notified by city officials that the remains constituted a pubic nuisance and would have to be removed at their expense, according to Shelton.