A tip to the Elkin Police Department on possible drug activity resulted in charges against two suspects at a local motel Thursday for allegedly producing methamphetamine.
According to Elkin Police Chief Monroe Wagoner, officers went to Elk Inn located at 1101 N. Bridge St. at 10 a.m. and confirmed that suspect Ronnie Parks of Elkin was registered at the hotel. Officers advised Parks they had received information that methamphetamine was in his room and asked for consent to search.
Wagoner said Parks consented to the search.
According to Wagoner, officers located a black bag and allegedly inside the black bag were immediate precursor items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. There were allegedly other items in various locations inside of the room that are consistent with manufacturing of methamphetamine.
Wagoner said Ronnie Allen Parks allegedly was conducting a “shake and bake” method for producing methamphetamine.
These items were processed by the Elkin Police Department and State Bureau of Investigation.
Ronnie Allen Parks was charged with felony possession/distribution of immediate precursor chemicals with intent to manufacture methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Parks is being held in Surry County Jail under a $15,000 secured bond on Elkin Police Department charges. Parks also was served with Orders for Arrest from Wilkes County for failing to appear on charges of manufacture methamphetamine, possession/distribution of immediate precursor chemicals with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, trafficking in methamphetamine by possession and trafficking methamphetamine by manufacturing. Parks is being held on a $35,000 secured bond for those charges.
Also in the room with Parks was Timothy Brian Billings of Elkin. Billings was charged with felony possession/distribution of immediate precursor chemicals with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, felony possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Billings also has pending charges for possession/distribution immediate precursor chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine and maintain a drug dwelling in Wilkes County. Billings is being held in Surry County jail under a $10,000 secured bond.
Only a few years ago, making meth required an elaborate lab — with containers simmering over open flames, cans of flammable liquids and pills. The process gave off foul odors, sometimes sparked explosions and was so hard to conceal that dealers often “cooked” their drugs in rural areas.
But now drug users are making their own meth in small batches using a faster, cheaper and much simpler method with ingredients that can be carried in a knapsack and mixed on the run. The “shake-and-bake” versatility has become popular because it requires a relatively small number of pills of the decongestant pseudoephedrine — an amount easily obtained under even the toughest anti-meth laws that have been adopted across the nation. Often after being suspected of committing an illegal act, the operation can shift to another location within minutes.
Anthony Gonzalez may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @newsgonz.