Knox County Sheriff John Pickard and Deputy Claude Hudson went to the home of Flat Lick resident Virgil Mills, 38, Tuesday to serve a felony warrant.
When they arrived at the Greenbriar Road home, Pickard made contact with the tenant at the front door, while Hudson covered the back door of the house.
Pickard said Mills exited the bathroom, unaware of the presence of law enforcement, and was immediately arrested.
While handcuffing the suspect, they noticed smoke pouring from the bathroom where Mills had exited.
As Hudson walked by Mills to investigate the cause of the smoke, Pickard said Mills fled out the back door.
Pickard followed the suspect, and Hudson followed, advising the smoke was coming from an active methamphetamine lab.
Pickard and Hudson chased Mills on foot about a half-mile into a wooded area, where he was captured.
Once back at the scene, Pickard said a 7-month-old child was inside the home.
Pickard said he contacted Knox County Social Services and the Kentucky State Police Drug Enforcement/Special Investigations (D.E.S.I.) meth team.
Knox County EMS transported the child to the emergency room of Knox County Hospital for a detox. Law enforcement also found additional evidence in the wooded area where Mills was captured.
Mills faces first-degree manufacturing methamphetamine, two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, and fleeing or evading police on foot.
But that wasn’t the end of the day for deputies.
Pickard said law enforcement then went to another residence in Gray on Ranch Road, off Bailey Hollow Road.
There, the sheriff said they met up with Eddie Gray, 45, at the front door. While talking with Gray, Deputy Hudson heard someone running through the rear of the trailer.
When Gray was questioned as to who was running — he responded it was Crystal Mills, 29. Gray granted law enforcement to do a search, according to Pickard, and that’s when they discovered Mills hiding in a back bedroom.
Pickard said deputies then uncovered an active meth lab, as well as several ingredients use to make meth.
Gray was also alleged to have had finished meth in his pocket. Mills and Gray were both jailed in the Knox County Detention Center. Gray faces charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, first offense, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, first offense, possession of drug paraphernalia, and first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. Mills faces second-degree criminal trespassing and possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as a bench warrant.
Pickard asks anyone with information on methamphetamine being manufactured to contact any of his staff at (606) 546-3181.
Also arrested by the Knox County Sheriff’s Department and their charges are:
— Verlin Mills, 46, of Flat Lick, first-degree alcohol intoxication, second-degree criminal mischief, third-degree terroristic threatening, and fourth-degree assault.
— Samantha Phipps, 24, of Barbourville, bench warrant.
— Jeremy Gregory, 19, of Cannon, second-degree hindering prosecution or apprehension.
— Josh Hart, 24, of Corbin, bench warrant.
— Ricky Hubbs, 56, Flat Lick, bench warrant.
— James Napier, 31, Fourmile, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, third-degree possession of a controlled substance, first offense, and driving DUI while on a suspended license.
— Andrea Bays, 27, of Bimble, flagrant non-support, manufacturing methamphetamine, first offense, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, first offense, possession of drug paraphernalia, and a bench warrant.
— Elizabeth Sturdivant, 32, of Flat Lick, first-degree manufacturing methamphetamine, and three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.
— Elvis Hall, 38, of Flat Lick, first-degree manufacturing methamphetamine, and three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.
— Darren Sizemore, 21, of Barbourville, third-degree burglary, receiving stolen property under $10,000.