A couple was charged with cooking methamphetamine in a Newport motel room Sunday, the same day a new law law went into effect calling for tougher punishments for meth makers.
Newport Police say when they arrived at Hostess House Extended Stay Motel on Highway 70 in Newport Sunday night, they found 33-year-old Brandon Hobbs and 22-year-old Katie Craft, both from Atlantic Beach, cooking meth in a motel room.
Police say a family with an infant was staying in a nearby room. North Carolina's new law says penalties will be increased for those convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine where children, disabled people, or elderly adults are present. The law took effect the same day of the Newport meth lab bust, December 1st.
"In total we probably relocated about 8 or 9 individuals, two small children and some elderly people as well. Due to the volatility of the chemicals that are involved in these labs, we didn't want to take a chance with them being in the adjacent rooms," said Newport Police Chief Jeff Clark.
The SBI is investigating the motel meth lab.
More than 500 meth labs have been busted in North Carolina so far in 2013, already beating last year's record of 460 labs. According to the new law, 2 years will be added to the sentence of someone found guilty of manufacturing meth.
Newport police were called to the Hostess House Extended Stay Motel on Highway 70 Sunday night because of suspicious activity. Officers first discovered meth precursors, and then found an active meth lab in one of the motel rooms.
Charged with manufacturing and possession of meth precursors were Brandon Hobbs of Atlantic Beach and Katie Craft of Newport.
Because an adjacent room was occupied by a family with an infant, police say the two will be charged under the new law that took effect earlier that day. That law adds two years to prison sentences where children, disabled or elderly adults are present when meth is being cooked.
The SBI was brought in the help with the removal of the meth lab, while adjacent motels rooms were evacuated.
Hobbs and Craft were jailed under $100,000 secured bonds.