CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. -- A Kings Mountain couple is in jail under a half-million dollar bond each, after being arrested for the second time in three months for running a meth lab at a local hotel.
Cleveland County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Mark and Catherine Stacey on Friday, after finding the methamphetamine lab in their room at the First Victory Inn on York Road in Kings Mountain.
A hazardous materials cleanup crew dismantled the lab Saturday morning and cleaned the chemicals from the room, but a sign still hangs on the door saying it can be dangerous.
“However, there still may be hazardous substances or waste products on this property, either in buildings or in the ground itself,” says the sign. “Please exercise caution while on these premises.”
The hotel’s clerk let NewsChannel 36 look inside the room. It looked like whoever had been living there had left in a hurry.
Soda bottles, glass tubes, tattoo ink, a woman’s purse, and other various personal items were scattered around the room. A woman’s makeup bag and its contents were spread out across the bathroom counter. The room smelled bad.
A search warrant left on the bed said investigators had been watching Mark Stacey since his arrest at a meth lab in a Gaston County hotel in March, and saw him buying supplies to manufacture methamphetamine, including pseudoephedrine, on Friday.
The investigators followed Stacey back to the First Victory Inn and knocked on the door of his second-floor room. Stacey gave the investigators permission to look around the room, and they found the meth lab.
"It was fairly dangerous considering they were using the one-pot method,” said Lt. Chris Hutchins of the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office. “The one-pot method is very volatile, and in certain states it could cause explosions, it could cause burns, it could cause fire hazards."
The hotel’s clerk said he didn’t know what was going on until police showed up, and was unaware that what they found was so dangerous – until we told him.
“It can mess up the room, people can be hurt?” asked Thakor Patel. “Like a terrorist?”
Yes, we told him. “Oh my God,” he replied. “That makes me very mad.”
Patel said he has been warned not to rent to the Staceys again, if they get out of jail.