Investigators with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office said the two men were arrested at a residence located at 1366 Self Road in Oakman, around 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29.
Chad Alan McCoy, 18, of Oakman has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance. He is currently being held in the Walker County Jail on a $11,000 property bond.
Darrell Wayne Tidwell, 34, of Oakman, has been charged with second-degree manufacturing of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance and being a certain person prohibited from possessing a firearm. He is currently being held in the Walker County Jail on a $71,000 property bond.
Investigator Chuck Tidwell said the two men were taken into custody when Deputy Ray Capps went to the residence to serve an outstanding warrant from Jasper against Tidwell for failure to appear in court.
“We had been getting numerous complaints about some possible illegal drug activity being conducted at this particular residence,” Tidwell said. “Jasper had an outstanding warrant against Tidwell, so Ray went out to serve it, and Tidwell voluntarily gave up the components to a methamphetamine lab he had in his home.”
Tidwell said various components to make methamphetamine were confiscated along with some finished product. Drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine were also found in a bedroom being used by McCoy.
“He said he had been making the stuff for personal use as well as to sell for a little income,” Tidwell said. “And after being questioned, Mr. McCoy also admitted to using methamphetamine, and said he had been doing so for about three months now.”
A female, who was also at the residence, reportedly McCoy’s mother, was not taken into custody and has not been charged.
“We’re seeing a steady increase in drug activity in our county, as well as an increase in other criminal activity, which generally can be tied back to the drug activity,” Tidwell said. “The one-pot meth labs are increasing at an alarming rate, with 75 percent of the meth being made for personal use, and the other twenty-five percent being made to sell.
Tidwell said the economy and lack of jobs has created a different kind of trend in the illegal drug activity being conducted in Walker County.
“Heroine is making a come back, because its cheaper to get than prescription drugs, and the meth labs are increasing by the day,” he said. “Our patrol deputies are doing a wonderful job of investigating all the complaints that come into the Sheriff’s Office, which helps us catch these folks.”
When law enforcement officials discover a methamphetamine lab it has to be cleaned up, which cost between $700 and $800 on the low end and between $2,500 to $3,500 on the high end depending on the method and components used to make the methamphetamine.
“I wish we could figure out a way to make these individuals pay restitution for cleaning up these labs, which would save the taxpayers money,” Tidwell said. “But many of them don’t have a job in the first place, so how are they going to pay it back.”
Tidwell said anyone interested in filing a complaint regarding illegal drug activity in their community can call the Walker County Sheriff’s Office any time, day or night, at 205-302-6464.