By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — The third of a trio of Alexandria residents convicted of maintaining a methamphetamine lab was sentenced Monday.
Jerry Redding, 43, received a 16-year sentence, with eight executed in prison, for a series of meth-related charges including dealing for his involvement in a Feb. 7 lab bust. Also arrested were Shelly Wilder, 43, and Dennis Adkins, 39.
According to the probable cause affidavit of the incident, Adkins drew the attention of Madison County Drug Task Force officers when he bought three containers of lye, a common ingredient for cooking meth, earlier that week. Police reported finding Adkins attempting to leave his home in the 800 block of North Minnesota Avenue in a vehicle when they approached the house.
According to the report, Adkins originally told police he bought the lye for a friend. Officers searched Adkins and found a meth pill in his pocket.
Detectives moved in to raid the house and found Wilder in a bedroom and Redding hiding in a closet. According to the affidavit, an overwhelming smell of solvent and a strong haze permeated the house. Detectives reported finding seven plastic bottles containing meth, syringes, hydrochloric acid, stripped batteries and other common materials used in meth production.
Detectives also found a ventilation system with aluminum tubing and glove holes converted from a tote. DTF officers believe it was used to vent the powerful fumes inside the home.
“It was an elaborate system,” said a DTF officer after the raid. “It was the first time I’ve ever seen one like that.”
Redding pleaded guilty to the charges in June and was the last of the three to plead and be sentenced. Adkins pleaded guilty in April and received 14 years with seven executed. Wilder was sentenced in May, receiving 12 years with seven executed.
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State police and Madison County authorities advise the public to look out for meth manufacturing. Signs include a strong ammonia smell or solvent smell like an auto body shop. Look for airline-type rubber tubing, ether or camp fuel cans, plastic bottles, Pseudoephedrine packages, lithium battery casings and propane tanks with a blue or green discoloration around the valve. The chemicals are highly explosive and fumes are toxic to breathe and will damage internal organs.