Traffic stop leads to discovery of precursors and equipment for meth making

After a vehicle traveling in Linton without tail lights in the middle of the night was pulled over early Wednesday, officers discovered precursors plus equipment commonly used in making methamphetamine. Two people were arrested.

Linda Jo Secrest

Linda Jo Secrest

Charles Michael Orr

Charles Michael Orr

Linda Jo Secrest, 42, of Lyons, and Charles Michael Orr III, 42, of Terre Haute, were arrested by Officer John Agan of the Linton Police Department. They were both booked in to the Greene County Jail before 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 1.

LPD Sgt. Logan Hobbs, the investigating officer, said Officer Agan conducted the traffic stop around 3:36 a.m. Wednesday at the intersection of State Road 54 and Main Street in Linton. The vehicle had been traveling on the highway without tail lights.

Secrest was identified as the driver. Orr was a passenger.

When Sgt. Hobbs arrived on the scene, Secrest and Orr were both out of the vehicle with Officer Agan. A records check had revealed the licenses of both Secrest and Orr were suspended and Agan had called for a tow truck due to a lack of a valid driver and because the vehicle was blocking the road.

While waiting for the tow vehicle, Officer Andrew Duguay of the Jasonville Police Department arrived to assist, along with his K9 Blitz. They conducted a free air sniff around the vehicle and K9 Blitz alerted to the presence of narcotics. Officer Duguay and Sgt. Hobbs then searched the vehicle.

Sgt. Hobbs reported they found hypodermic syringes in Secrest’s purse. In the vehicle’s passenger area or in the trunk, they found unopened lithium batteries and a lithium battery that had been stripped in order to extract the lithium metal – under the passenger’s seat, a sack that had been tied closed that contained a white powder that field tested positive as ephedrine – in the glove box, camp fuel (an organic solvent) and drain cleaner (sulfuric acid) – in the trunk, along with a glass Pyrex dish, aquarium tubing, a cutting tool, a blender/grinder, and coffee filters.

They also found two receipts from the Walmart in Sullivan which showed two purchases of pseudoephedrine were made in the evening of Tuesday, April 30. Another receipt showed coffee filters had been purchased at a Dollar General store on Monday, April 29, and Hobbs was able to obtain video from the store that showed a woman matching Secrest’s description purchasing the filters. From the Walmart store in Linton, Hobbs was able to obtain video which showed a woman matching Secrest’s description purchasing camp fuel at 3:21 a.m. on Wednesday, shortly before the traffic stop.

In a probable cause affidavit prepared by Sgt. Hobbs, he wrote, “Based on the equipment and precursors found in the vehicle, as well as the fact that the ephedrine/pseudoephedrine pills had already been crushed into powder form and one of the lithium batteries had been stripped to remove the lithium metal, I believe that Charles M. Orr and Linda J. Secrest were manufacturing methamphetamine and had taken active steps in the process of manufacturing methamphetamine when they were stopped by law enforcement.”

Hobbs also reported that Orr was uncooperative with Officer Agan during the booking process at the jail.

Both Secrest and Orr are being held without bond pending their appearance in court and that’s scheduled early Monday in Greene Superior Court.

Preliminary charges filed against Secrest include:

  • Manufacturing methamphetamine, a Level 4 felony,

  • Possession of chemical reagents/precursors with intent to manufacture, a Level 6 felony,

  • Unlawful possession of a syringe, a Level 6 felony, and

  • Driving while suspended – a knowing violation with a prior conviction, a Class A misdemeanor.

Preliminary charges filed against Orr include:

  • Manufacturing methamphetamine, a Level 4 felony,

  • Possession of chemical reagents/precursors with intent to manufacture, a Level 6 felony, and

  • Resisting law enforcement – knowingly or intentionally forcibly resists, a Class A misdemeanor.