The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

March 4, 2014

Children allegedly present amid motel meth lab

— Two sisters, ages 3 and 4, were taken into custody by the Department of Human Resources Monday after their mother and her acquaintance were arrested at an Athens motel room for allegedly manufacturing methamphetamine.

“A search of the room revealed nine active meth labs, several gas generators used in the process of making meth, other meth precursors, and drug paraphernalia,” said Capt. Stanley McNatt, chief investigator with the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office.

The two girls were present in Room 232 of the Bomar Inn, located at 1101 U.S. 31 South, when their mother, Connie Lee House, 30, and Dennis Rafeal Artaud Jr., 25, were arrested. They are charged with first-degree manufacturing of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia,  McNatt said, adding that other charges may be pursued.

“Narcotics officers from the Sheriff’s Office went to the room in response to a report of meth being made and kept in that room,” McNatt said. “The officers made contact with Artaud, who rented the room, and they were advised there was nothing illegal inside the room and were given permission to search.”

When officers entered, they found House with 3- and 4-year-old daughters, McNatt said. When they searched, they found the meth labs, meth precursors and drug paraphernalia.

Both House and Artaud remained in the Limestone County Jail Tuesday afternoon, with bail set at $56,000 each.

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