Two arrested, one sought in meth lab bust

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 6, 2012

By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY — Two people are in custody and one is on the run, authorities say, after deputies discovered a methamphetamine lab in the second floor of a barn off Stokes Ferry Road Thursday night.
Investigators raided the home about 11:30 p.m. and arrested 32-year-old Eric Franklin Cox and 49-year-old Robin Harkey, both of 142 Larin Way.
Deputies are also searching for a third suspect, Alfred Francis Davis III, who authorities believe lived in the area where the meth was being cooked.
An undercover officer with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said an investigation began Wednesday after reports came in of Cox consistently buying large amounts of methamphetamine materials.
Deputies also found Cox had been buying frequent amounts of pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in meth-making operations.
The bust was the sixth meth lab find of the year, topping last year’s total of five.
Investigators were preparing a search warrant at the residence, but officers received a Department of Social Services report indicating a juvenile was living at the home.
They took Cox and Harkey into custody about 11:45 p.m.
According to arrest warrants, investigators found lithium and pseudoephedrine in the upstairs compartment of the barn.
They also found a jug of what appeared to be meth oil.
Undercover officers and an SBI investigator were at the residence Friday morning. A chemist and an SBI containment crew are expected later today.
Arrest warrants indicated at least two others are involved in the case, but no charges have been filed.
Cox was charged with three counts of felony possession or distribution of meth precursor materials, two counts of felony conspiracy and felony manufacturing meth.
He was in jail Friday under a $100,000 bond.
Harkey was charged with felony maintaining a dwelling for keeping and storing drugs, felony conspiracy and felony possession or distribution of meth precursor materials.
She was in jail under a $25,000 bond.
Deputies ask anyone with information about the whereabouts of Alfred Francis Davis III to call the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office at 704-216-8700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.