MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. – Charlotte-Mecklenburg police conducted a raid early Friday morning on a suspected methamphetamine lab operating a short distance from a west Charlotte elementary school.
Police activity began about 4 a.m. at a vacant residence on Mount Olive Church Road. The home, in the 4400 block of the road, is about 250 yards from Berryhill Elementary School.
Officers detained two people for questioning as they searched the house.
They arrested one of them, Miguel Fairchild Perez, 32 in the case. He’s in custody on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of precursors for methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a dwelling.
Officers at the scene told reporters they had discovered a meth lab, apparently in a trailer or storage facility near the residence.
At 8 a.m., agents from the SBI arrived at the scene, to help clean up the facility.
"We were not allowed outside of our house we had to stay inside the house while it happened. They didn't tell us to evacuate, but said we might have to cause if it blows, everyone had to evacuate," says John Broome
Broome lives at the house next door.
A green extension cord runs from the outlet on his trailer home to the suspected meth house.
"They just asked to use the power and we didn't think nothing about it," he said.
Nick WInecoff's spent the night under the same roof-- only to wake up to the sirens and blue flashing lights next door.
He says two men came knocking around midnight and asked to use the bathroom and microwave so they can heat up their fast food.
"He didn't say hello, he came over here and said, can I borrow some power, kinda awkward. We just fed him some power through the power cord and he went on with his business," said Winecoff.
His mother Tracie told her son he should have known better.
"They should have had better judgement, than letting someone they might have seen once or twice come in," she says.
The property owner eventually arrived to secure the trailer once officers left the premise. He told NBC Charlotte, he lives in South Carolina and had no idea what was being made inside. For several months, he had tried to rent out the property with little success.
Students were not affected by police activity, because today is a teacher workday in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
Staff members were supposed to be working, but it wasn’t clear if police activity affected the workday.
Perez is in custody at the Mecklenburg County jail.