On March 10, 2014, Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force officers were assisting Sheriff’s Office investigators with a search warrant for stolen property located at 40110 Baham Road, Franklinton. As Drug Task Force officers approached the residence, they noticed several bottles used for methamphetamine manufacture scattered on the ground. The officers also detected a strong odor consistent with the manufacture of meth coming from inside the residence through the open front door.
At this time, officers observed a white male, identified as Gary D. Touchstone, 32, walking from a residence next door. Touchstone advised officers that he lived at the residence alone and gave permission for the house and property to be searched.
The search of the house and property revealed fifty-nine one pot meth bottles, several meth pipes, several empty blister packs of sudaphedrine, empty fuel containers, coffee filters, empty lithium battery packs and a bag of fertilizer. All of the ingredients are used in the manufacture of meth. Pot bottles are defined as bottles used for manufacturing meth.
Touchstone was arrested and transported to the Washington Parish Jail charged with Manufacture of a Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance, Operation of a Clandestine Meth Lab and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He remains in the jail and no bond has been set at this time.
Due to the toxic environmental issues surrounding a meth lab, a professional meth lab cleaning crew was brought in to collect and dispose of all hazardous material. The cost of the clean up was $1,600.
Sheriff Randy Seal complimented his officers for making the arrest and shutting down the meth lab. “A meth lab is a very dangerous operation which produces a toxic and dangerous illegal substance. Our officers did an excellent job in putting this drug dealer out of business and we will ask for restitution for the cost of cleaning up the lab. The honest taxpayers of Washington Parish should not have to bear the burden of cleaning up a toxic site created by an illegal operation.”