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String of meth busts continue

Deputy Marcus Hartwell was on routine patrol when he spotted a man in a fenced in area of Boyd’s Fertilizer pumping anhydrous ammonia, a common ingredient in making methamphetamine and a potent fertilizer, into a small tank.
Hartwell pulled up and conducted a short investigation, and he then placed Robert Dale Boyles, 36, of 5308 Silk Hope Road, Savannah under arrest without incident for unlawful possession of anhydrous ammonia, criminal trespass and theft by taking.
Boyles was attempting to pump the gas-form fertilizer at around 4 p.m. Saturday.
“These kinds of thefts tend to occur in the middle of the night,” Sgt. Brett Dickerson said. “Lookouts are often used to do something like this, and we’ve found pretty elaborate measures in place to prevent those in the act from getting caught.”
But Boyles did not seem to have such measures in place and an observant deputy was the only thing required in catching him.
In the past the Screven County Sheriff’s Office has relied on physical and video surveillance of theft hot spots, and the area has seen a dwindling occurrence of anhydrous thefts due to different ways of making methamphetamine.
County law enforcement has caught people from as far as Jesup, Ga. and Tennessee attempting to steal some of the fertilizer over the years. Dickerson said the fertilizer is very effective for placing nitrogen into the land and because the area is a farming community, it’s often here in bulk.
Anhydrous ammonia is stored as a gas inside a pressurized tank. Those who steal it often retrofit propane tanks’ brass fittings to stainless because the ammonia eats away the brass making it dangerous. If the seal is broken, the ammonia can be sprayed into the atmosphere causing a dangerous reaction. Chemical burns can occur.
Another meth bust
A father and son were taken into custody last Thursday after an unwanted person call in Cooperville. Deputy Ken Kelley spotted two individuals walking that fit the description and talked to them from his patrol car, attempting to get them to come closer.
Kelley saw one man drop a piece of plastic cellophane and decided to get out and talk to the men, which then caused the men to try and avoid the deputy.
Jerry Allen Durrence, 41, of the Holiday Motel, and Jeffrey Allen Durrence, 20, of the Holiday Motel, received various charges after methamphetamine was found on the ground after the elder Durrence attempted to discard it before being arrested.
Jerry received a possession of methamphetamine charge, possession of drug related objects, and a criminal trespass charge; Jeffrey received misdemeanor obstruction of officer and criminal trespass misdemeanor charges.