Dalton Police Department Busts “Old School” Meth Lab

Friday, February 8, 2013
Officers Tommy Ensley (left) and Serena Martin (right) photograph and log evidence as a DPD drug investigator in a hazmat suit removes components of a meth lab from an apartment at 900 Vernon Avenue Thursday night.
Officers Tommy Ensley (left) and Serena Martin (right) photograph and log evidence as a DPD drug investigator in a hazmat suit removes components of a meth lab from an apartment at 900 Vernon Avenue Thursday night.
- photo by Bruce Frazier

A month-long undercover drug operation by the Dalton Police Department Drug Unit led to three arrests and the discovery of a large meth lab Thursday night.  Bruce Wayne Bailey, 45, of 521 Monroe-Green Road in Trion, Chayne Allen Bailey, 23, and Katherine Leighann Wheat, 21, both of 900 Vernon Avenue were all arrested and charged for their roles in the manufacture or distribution of methamphetamine.

Drug investigators from the Dalton Police Department had been investigating the sale of methamphetamine by Bruce Wayne Bailey and his son, Chayne Allen Bailey for the past two months.  That undercover investigation led detectives to obtain an arrest warrant for Bruce Bailey and also a search warrant for his workplace, a radiator shop at 113 Emery Street. 

Shortly before those warrants were scheduled to be executed on Thursday afternoon, a patrol officer performed a traffic stop on a car being driven by Katherine Wheat who lives with Chayne Bailey.  Ms. Wheat gave officers consent to search her vehicle and they found a meth pipe. Drug Unit detectives were contacted and after investigating they learned there was a meth lab operation at the apartment at 900 Vernon Avenue that she shares with Bailey and obtained a search warrant for the residence.

Officers and investigators from the Dalton Police executed the search warrant at 900 Vernon Avenue and discovered a red phosphorous-type meth lab at the apartment.  A red phosphorous lab is a more “old school” type of meth lab that is becoming more rare as meth producers have switched to the single-pot “shake and bake”.  The red phosphorous or “red P” type lab is a much larger operation than the smaller “shake and bake” type labs.  Chayne Allen Bailey was at the apartment and was arrested. 

Chief Ray Grossman from the Cohutta Police Department responded to the scene to help investigators secure and dismantle the lab. Chief Grossman serves as the area’s meth site safety officer.  Investigators wearing hazmat suits dismantled the lab and waited until a cleanup team contracted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation could respond to the scene and safely remove the components. 

After discovering the lab, investigators then served the search warrants on Bruce Bailey at his workplace on Emery Street.  He was in possession of 1.4 grams of meth and was arrested.  

Bruce Bailey was charged with possession of methamphetamine and selling methamphetamine.  Chayne Bailey and Ms. Wheat were both charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of ephedrine/pseudoephedrine/phenylpropanolam, and possession of tools for the commission of a crime.  

The cleanup cost for the lab is estimated at $10,000 which is covered by the GBI.

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