Three suspects were charged with making methamphetamine while Rutherford County Sheriff's deputies were searching for burglary suspect earlier this month, a deputy said.
Suspects Joe Robert Levinson, 25, Cody W. Randolph, 37, and Tabitha West, 30, all of 4003 Sulphur Springs Road were charged with initiating methamphetamine production, said Deputy James McFerrin of the Active Crime Enforcement Unit.
The case began when Deputy Stephen Lewis obtained surveillance video of a man stealing GPS units from vehicles on Birdsong Road and Cotton Court where Levinson was identified as a suspect, McFerrin said.
Then, State Probation Patrol Officer Jon Potocik asked ACE deputies to accompany him on a visit to the home where Levinson and Randolph lived. Both men are on probation for previous convictions. They found evidence of an active methamphetamine lab.
"They had everything there to manufacture methamphetamine," McFerrin said.
Deputies contacted Sheriff's Narcotics Detective Curtis Brinkley to investigate. The Tennessee Dangerous Drugs Task Force members safely dismantled the meth operation.
Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services' Special Operations Response Team and the Rutherford County Fire and Rescue decontaminated the three suspects.
Detective Scott Tillman said he obtained warrants charging Levinson with three counts of auto burglary.
"Levinson said he was on drugs and woke up and found the GPS's," Tillman said.
The suspect allegedly pawned the two GPS units, the detective added.
Levinson, Randolph and West were being held in Rutherford County Adult Detention Center while awaiting a General Sessions Court hearing on the drug charges Nov. 17. Levinson is scheduled for a hearing on the burglary charges Dec. 21 in Circuit Court.