Traffic stop leads to multiple meth lab busts

John Padgett (Source: DCSO)
John Padgett (Source: DCSO)
Hoyt Harrison (Source: DCSO)
Hoyt Harrison (Source: DCSO)

From DCSO

DARLINGTON, SC - Law enforcement officers with the Darlington County Combined Drug Unit arrested four people in connection with a meth bust in Hartsville late Saturday afternoon.

A Hartsville City Police officer made a traffic stop late Saturday afternoon. When the officer approached the car he saw a meth lab in the back of the vehicle. The officer quickly got the people out of the car arrested 27-year-old Hoyt Harrison and Pepper Boykin,33, for conspiracy to manufacture meth.

A second car, traveling with the first, was also stopped, and meth lab components were found in it as well.  Arrested from the second car was 41-year-old John Padgett. Padgett was also charged with conspiracy to manufacture meth. A Hartsville Fire Department Hazmat team was called to the location along with a team from SLED in Columbia.

"This was good police work by one of my guys. The officer saw what was going on and acted quickly. It was that quick thinking, and his training that was critical in the stop," said Chief James Hudson of the Hartsville Police Department.

Information from the car stops lead officials to a location on Sandbox Road in the Oats area of Darlington County where a third meth lab was located. In the process of the search, a small marijuana grow was found in the back yard and inside the residence. Howard Edward Moore, 26, was charged with manufacturing marijuana in connection with the two grows.

The Darlington County Fire department and EMS was called to assist with the incident. No one was hurt or reported injury with the case.  The Department of Social Services was called in to assist deputies after two small children were taken into protective custody. The children were 6 months and 4-years-old.

"I am glad no one got hurt with this case. Meth labs are very dangerous to be around. The chemicals used to make this stuff are very volatile. If you see evidence that makes you suspect a Meth lab, call law enforcement immediately and explain your concerns.  Do not attempt to gather evidence on your own, and never handle any materials that may be associated with a lab," added Sheriff Wayne Byrd.