Two meth busts in 24 hours affect children and make neighbors more aware
Four children are taken from their Bullitt County home today, after detectives find a meth lab inside. And shortly after that, deputies arrest an Iraq War veteran after finding a massive meth lab at his home. Detectives say the 32-year-old Army Sergeant E-6, Howard Delmar Moon III, told them he started using meth after returning from Iraq about one year ago with a head injury. He's one of three people arrested today for making meth in Bullitt County.
Two meth lab busts in one morning and the stories behind them are heart breaking. Detectives had to wear oxygen masks overnight because they could hardly breathe in the basement of this Hillview home where they say a 28-year-old mother cooked meth, with her four elementary-age children in the house.
"Traumatic. Now, they were just telling me when they were trying to wash these kids down, there were a lot of screams because the water was cold. And we're talking about bright lights, kids that are six, seven years old, nude, being hosed down by strangers," said Kenny Hardin, Director of Bullitt County Drug Task Force.
Officers also arrested 32-year-old Michael Purtilar. They say they had to taser him because he tried to escape. Another person did get away. Just several miles away, in Shepherdsville, an anonymous tip led detectives to a strong chemical odor coming from the home of Howard Delmar Moon III. Detectives say they did not find any children inside the house, but they did find evidence like children's toys and clothing, so now they'll have to figure out if a child was ever in the house when meth was being cooked.
"You mix all of your ingredients up, shake it. If it doesn't explode or catch fire, you have meth in about two or three hours," said Hardin, "It's a tremendous amount of meth, but if you've got several friends that are coming by, and you just drink some beer and smoke some dope and, have pizza."
If you see a lot of people visiting a home at strange hours or smell something similar to ammonia, police say, you might have detected a meth lab.
"It seems we're getting a lot more of them. I think people are a lot more aware of what the smell is and what it takes to make meth. And I think that's why we're getting more calls on it." said Danny Thompson, Bullitt County Chief Deputy.
The four children in the first house were taken to the hospital and released later this morning. They were put in child protective custody. Both their mother and the man arrested in the home are in jail on a $1 million, full-cash bond for charges including drug possession and endangering children.