HAZARD — Deputies with the Perry County Sheriff’s Office have charged two people with making methamphetamine in a home on Big Willard Road after they say they found multiple meth precursors and what is believed to be meth in the home during a search on Friday, July 6.
While so far Perry County has been able to remain relatively unscathed by the meth problem that is plaguing several other Eastern Kentucky counties, the fear of it coming closer and moving into the county may have been founded.
After receiving several tips of meth being manufactured in the residence, deputies arrived at 2771 Big Willard Road on Friday afternoon. Deputy Elmer Fugate said that the home’s front door was locked, so they walked around to the back to find 33-year-old Jonathan Nick Caldwell throwing items onto a burn pile.
“I asked him if he wouldn’t mind to let us look around in his home, and he did,” said Fugate.
Deputy Fugate said that the complaint they had received about the home was that Caldwell was keeping supplies for making meth in a back bedroom. Upon searching this area of the home, authorities say they found drug paraphernalia and placed Caldwell under arrest.
The deputies continued to search under reasonable suspicion of additional illegal activity, Fugate added, where they found several precursors and other items related to making meth.
“That was when we found a Budweiser cooler, one of the flexible kind,” Fugate explained, “unzipped it, opened it up and there was the campfire fuel, tubing, wire, lithium batteries, coffee filters; he had five or six precursors in that bag itself.”
After finding the additional precursors, deputies called the Kentucky State Police for analysis and cleanup of what was a volatile combination of chemicals used in making meth. And while the deputies were searching the home, a second person, identified as 35-year-old Julie Anne Davidson, was also charged after she returned to the scene and then allegedly attempted to flee from a neighbor’s house.
“While we were there, Miss Davidson was coming up the hollow and saw all the law enforcement vehicles at her home, and so she pulled into a neighbor’s home and got out and started running,” said Fugate.
Davidson was caught just minutes later with two men and a woman. The three other people were released after passing a field sobriety test and having no active warrants. However, Davidson was arrested.
Upon questioning Caldwell and Davidson, Caldwell said he only stayed at the home off and on, though Davidson said he had been there since February and even helped to pay rent, Fugate said. This made it possible for the deputies to established residency of both people at the home.
Both were taken to Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard, where Davidson received an additional charge of promoting contraband. Once at the jail, Davidson was searched by a female employee where Davidson was alleged to have freely admitted to possessing a pill bottle containing marijuana seeds and two baggies of what is believed to be meth.
Neither of them admitted to making meth, but the evidence was enough to charge both them with meth charges, according to Fugate.
“They both kind of tried to pawn it off on one another, but it was in the back bedroom of their home next to his clothes,” said Fugate.
Caldwell and Davidson have been charged with possession of precursors of making meth, first-degree manufacturing meth and possession of drug paraphernalia. Davidson has been additionally charged with promoting contraband.