2 meth lab busts result in 3 arrests in West Ashley neighborhoods

Patrick M. D'Angelo and Heather M. Moreland.
Patrick M. D'Angelo and Heather M. Moreland.
Joseph McLaughlin
Joseph McLaughlin

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County sheriff's deputies wearing protective suits took over a Lord Calvert Drive home Monday morning. Investigators got a tip that methamphetamine was being made at the home.

Three people have been arrested after narcotics agents with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office busted two meth labs Monday morning in West Ashley.

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Word of the police presence quickly spread through the neighborhood.

"That's something else," said Robert Bailey, who lives in the neighborhood. "We're not used to stuff like that."

A sheriff's spokesman says detectives didn't find any meth in the house, but did find equipment and materials that are used to make the drug.

"I thought there was a fire or something going on. I wasn't sure," Bailey said. "I don't know, always something though, isn't it?"

Deputies arrested 41-year-old Joseph McLaughlin who was living at the home.

"They had the SWAT team, Hazmat; the entire force was out her, so kind of an exciting morning," said neighbor Shane Ray.

Mclaughlin has a history of drug arrests and convictions.

"We just moved into the neighborhood," Ray said. "I think hopefully it's a random incident."

Detectives say it was not a random incident.

About an hour later, deputies served a second search warrant, this time at a house on Wappoo Road.

Two people who live at that residence were arrested. Deputies arrested 43-year-old Patrick D'Angelo and 28-year-old Heather Moreland. Deputies say they went to the house based on information from the first bust.

"I opened the door earlier and there were police lined up and I said whoa, what's going on?" neighbor Christina Eckley said.

"I saw them sitting in the driveway in handcuffs and the police tearing up the house. I know it was drugs but I didn't know what," Eckley said.

Deputies say they found meth making materials in the house, but no methamphetamine. Deputies uncovered two potentially explosive situations at two homes that fortunately didn't happen.

McLaughlin is charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. D'Angelo and Moreland are charged with manufacturing meth.

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