John Morris, 28, 6742 Highway 104 West, Dyersburg, Tenn. was arrested late Tuesday evening and charged with initiating methamphetamine manufacture.
Officials say members of the neighborhood watch in the western portion on Dyer County reported they saw Morris making some unusual purchases for the Quick Stop in Finley. The items were reportedly common ingredients used in the production of meth.
Deputies Heath Walker and Eric Wells and reserve deputy Chuck Campbell caught up with Morris after Dyer County Sheriff's Inv. Stoney Hughes passed along information he may be near a residence in the 6000 block of Highway 104 West. When the officers went to the location Walker immediately spotted a campfire with Morris standing next to it. Morris was reportedly living in a tent where the fire was and saw the deputies and began throwing things into the fire, which made it grow even larger. The deputies took Morris into custody and put out the fire, which was illegal since the county is under a burn ban due to the dry conditions.
The deputies were able to retrieve some items from the fire, including an alleged meth lab that was still going through a chemical process in making the drug. Morris is reported to be on probation out of Obion County and was wearing a monitoring device on his ankle.
Hughes, while donned in a haz-mat suit, cleaned up the scene and the Tennessee Meth Task Force arrived to dispose of the items, including the meth lab and Morris' tent.
Morris is being held in the Dyer County Jail without bond until he appears in Dyer County General Sessions Court on Thursday, July 12.
The neighborhood watch program in that area was established after Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box and program coordinators met with residents on Monday at the Junction Church of God.