WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Three men have been charged with manufacturing crystal meth in their Wilmington apartment.
Crews spent hours Saturday morning cleaning up the meth lab, which was found in Wimbledon Chase Apartments. Wilmington Police were tipped off by neighbors who reported an unusual odor coming from an apartment in their building Friday night. Police evacuated neighbors to avoid any hazardous second-hand effects.
Wilmington Police spokeswoman Lucy Crockett called meth "the poor man's cocaine" and said the drug is becoming more popular because of the combination of tough economic times and a relatively cheap drug recipe.
Wilmington Police, the Wilmington Fire Department, New Hanover County EMS and a SBI crew from Asheville were on the scene all morning. New Hanover County Emergency Management Director Warren Lee said the clean-up could cost the county upwards of $2,500.
Neighbors we spoke with said they are shocked something like this was cooking in what they call a mostly quiet neighborhood.
The three men charged with operating the lab are Ricky Lee Blair of Wilmington, Cory Nicholas Best of New Bern and James David Stirling of Wilmington (pictured above from left to right). All three have been charged with:
1. Manufacturing a controlled substance - Schedule II (methamphetamine)
2. Maintaining a dwelling used to manufacture a controlled substance
3. Felony conspiracy
Bond has been set at $1,000,000 each.
Tune in to WWAY NewsChannel 3 Sunday at 11p.m. to hear more from neighbors and officials about the incident.