Seven children found in home during Scott Co. meth bust


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Seven children are in protective custody and two adults are in jail after a large meth bust in Scott County late Wednesday afternoon.

Officers seized evidence of 10 meth labs from a residence in the 200 block of Straight Fork Road in Huntsville. However, officers said it is the number of children in the home that makes this case stand out.

Drug officer Kris Lewallen said those have the potential to make up to five ounces of the drug. The children who were home at the time of the bust are between the ages of 1 and 14-years-old. Three of the kids were living there with their uncle and aunt because their mother is currently in jail for manufacturing meth.

None of them have life-threatening injuries, but police said there is a possibility some could suffer from chemical burns or exposure to chemicals.

Police arrested Gary Handley and his wife Patricia Handley at the scene. They were arraigned on Wednesday night on drug charges as well as felony child abuse under Hayley’s Law.

Polcie said this bust is a good example of how cases involving meth aren’t just law enforcement issues. “It’s always number one to me when we can take this many children out of a home where Methamphetamine is being cooked, So, it’s more important to me than any meth lab that we’ve got,” said Lewallen.

This make’s Scott County’s 29th meth lab so far this year. There have been nearly 1,400 state-wide. Members of the state’s meth task force will arrive in Scott County on Thursday morning to pick up the lab seized tonight.

They will take the drugs to a nearby hazardous materials container for storage until a state-contracted HazMat team can dispose of the chemicals.

It is part of program which was implemented back in July. Disposal costs are covered by $12.5 million in federal funding that was restored last month. That money originally ran out back in February leaving state and local police to cover clean-up costs on their own.

Gary and Patricia Handley are both being held in the Scott County Jail. His bond is $200,000. Her bond is $175,000.

Officers became aware of the situation after a school resource officer noticed one of the children was sick at school. She then notified the sheriff’s department who went to the home.

Scott County Drug officers said an adult gave them permission to enter the home. They said they found the makings of meth out in plain sight and seized evidence of 10 meth labs.