Kannapolis man charged with operating meth lab

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

KANNAPOLIS ó A Kannapolis man faces numerous drug-related charges after investigators found a methamphetamine lab on his property.
Matthew Joel Craft, of 1922 Troutman Hill Road, was arrested this week after more than a month of investigation, authorities said.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, Salisbury Police Department and the State Bureau of Investigation began investigating when Kannapolis Police alerted them that Craft might be involved in making methamphetamine, a Sheriff’s Office press release said.
Investigators caught Craft trying to get “precursor chemicals” used to manufacture methamphetamine, the press release said.
Authorities obtained search warrants for 1922 and 1924 Troutman Hill Road, both owned by Craft.
Investigators found a laboratory inside a mobile home used for storage on one of the properties.
They seized approximately 1,000 grams of methamphetamine in various stages of production (estimated street value of $100,000), 13 firearms, several different precursor chemicals and $5,600 in cash, according to the press release.
Among the firearms seized were two shotguns that had been sawed off well below the legal minimum length.
The Clandestine Lab Team and a forensic chemist, both from the SBI, processed the crime scene for evidence.
When caught trying to obtain the precursor chemicals, Craft was charged with attempting to possess precursor chemicals with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, conspiring to possess precursor chemicals with intent to manufacture methamphetamine and attempting to manufacture methamphetamine. Craft was also charged with misdemeanor child abuse.
He was placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under $100,000 bond pending a first appearance in court Thursday.
After finding the methamphetamine lab, authorities charged Craft with possession of precursor chemicals with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, possession with intent to sell methamphetamine, manufacturing methamphetamine, trafficking in methamphetamine, maintaining a building for controlled substances and two counts of possession of a weapon of mass destruction. Craft was then placed under an additional $150,000 bond.