A months-long undercover drug operation by the Dalton Police Department Drug Unit led to three arrests and the discovery of a large meth lab Thursday night.
Bruce Wayne Bailey, 45, of 521 Monroe-Green Road in Trion, and Chayne Allen Bailey, 23, and Katherine Leighann Wheat, 21, both of 900 Vernon Ave., were arrested and charged for their roles in the manufacture or distribution of meth.
Drug investigators from the department had been investigating the sale of meth by Bruce Bailey and his son Chayne Bailey for the past two months. That undercover investigation led detectives to obtain an arrest warrant for Bruce Bailey and also a search warrant for his workplace, a radiator shop at 113 Emery St.
Shortly before those warrants were scheduled to be executed on Thursday afternoon, a patrol officer performed a traffic stop on a car being driven by Wheat who lives with Chayne Bailey. Wheat gave officers consent to search her vehicle and they found a meth pipe. Drug Unit detectives were contacted and after investigating they learned there was a meth lab operation at the apartment at 900 Vernon Ave. that she shares with Chayne Bailey and obtained a search warrant for the residence.
Officers and investigators executed the search warrant at 900 Vernon Ave. and discovered a red phosphorous-type meth lab at the apartment. A red phosphorous lab is a more “old school” type of meth lab that is becoming more rare as meth producers have switched to the single-pot “shake and bake.” The red phosphorous, or “red P,” type lab is a much larger operation than the smaller “shake and bake” type labs. Chayne Bailey was at the apartment and was arrested.
Chief Ray Grossman from the Cohutta Police Department responded to the scene to help investigators secure and dismantle the lab. Grossman serves as the area’s meth site safety officer. Investigators wearing hazmat suits dismantled the lab and waited until a cleanup team contracted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) could respond to the scene and safely remove the components.
After discovering the lab, investigators served the search warrants on Bruce Bailey at his workplace on Emery Street. He was in possession of 1.4 grams of meth and was arrested.
Bruce Bailey was charged with possession of meth and selling meth. Chayne Bailey and Wheat were both charged with trafficking in meth, possession of meth, possession of meth with intent to distribute, possession of ephedrine/pseudoephedrine/phenylpropanolam and possession of tools for the commission of a crime.
The cleanup cost for the lab is estimated at $10,000 which is covered by the GBI.