Gold Hill man charged following September discovery of meth lab at his home

Published 10:32 am Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Gold Hill man was charged Monday with having a meth lab at his home after authorities say they found items at his home in September used to make methamphetamine.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office charged Christopher Douglas Earnhardt, 34, of 13175 Old Beatty Ford Road, with two counts felony trafficking methamphetamine by possession and manufacturing, four counts felony possession of an immediate precursor chemical/materials, one count felony maintaining a dwelling place for controlled substances, one count felony manufacturing meth, and one count misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to a report from the Sheriff’s Office:

On Sept. 18, 2014, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina Division of Adult Probation and Parole went to a home in the 2400 block of Liberty Road, Gold Hill, to locate an individual for a probation search of him and the residence. Upon entering the open front porch, officers, including one trained in clandestine laboratory investigations, observed an open backpack sitting on the floor of the porch.

In plain view, officers observed a soda bottle containing a clear liquid with white sludge and pieces of black metal.  There was also a canister of Coleman camping fuel in the backpack. On a grill in the front yard was another plastic soda bottle containing similar materials as the one in the backpack.

These items were all consistent with the manufacturing of methamphetamine, officials said. The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit was called to assist in the investigation and obtained a state search warrant for the home. The unit was assisted in the investigation by the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation Clandestine Laboratory Response Team and the Liberty Fire Department.

Earnhardt arrived at the home during the execution of the search warrant. Earnhardt acknowledged that the meth lab belonged to him, according to authorities.

Earnhardt remains in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $350,000 secured bond. Earnhardt has been convicted on a number of misdemeanor offenses including driving while license revoked, speeding and resisting arrest.