Waynesboro and state police arrested two suspects Tuesday after raiding a home on Sherwood Avenue suspected to house a meth lab. Waynesboro has already had two meth lab busts this year.
For hours, a major residential neighborhood in Waynesboro was shut down as Waynesboro officers, a SWAT team, and Virginia State Police raided the house, sending shockwaves through the community.
"At first, freaking out because I see a fire truck and blue lights from up the street look like it's in front of my house, but then I realized it was further down," said neighbor Tony Clark.
Clark stumbled upon the scene of an ongoing investigation at the house at 682 Sherwood Ave. He says he's surprised, but rumors that had been swirling for some time.
"A little more traffic late at night than should be I would think," Clark said.
When officers stormed in, their equipment detected chemicals, such as ammonia, that are used to cook meth. Then officers started asking questions to all five people found in the house at the time the warrant was executed.
Police took two of them - 38-year-old April Riddle and 23-year-old Jesse Balin - into custody after hosing them down in a decontamination area. A few police officers experienced minor throat irritation from inhaling fumes.
"We know that methamphetamine is a problem here in the valley. We are very well aware of that. It's an ongoing problem. It never faded even when bath salts really started to surge," said Sergeant Brian Edwards with the Waynesboro Police Department.
Riddle and Balin are being held at Middle River Regional Jail without bond.
Waynesboro Police Department Press Release
September 18, 2013 - The Waynesboro Police Department has charged a Waynesboro man & woman for the manufacture of methamphetamine after the Police Department's SWAT team raided a city residence. Jesse Hamilton Balin, 23 years old, and April Bradley Riddle, 38 year old have been charged each with a felony count of manufacturing methamphetamine. On September 17 at 4:45 PM, the SWAT team, armed with a search warrant, raided Balin's residence at 682 Sherwood Ave. The search warrant was the result of a joint narcotics investigation by the Police Department and Virginia State Police. Initially, five individuals including Balin and Riddle were detained but three others were eventually released. The 600 block of Sherwood Ave was blocked off by the Police Department for over four hours while the Virginia State Police Clandestine Lab Team and the Waynesboro Fire Department entered the home and began the process of ventilating it making safe for the collection of evidence.
Balin & Riddle are being held without bond at Middle River Regional Jail.
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