Police patrolling N. Charleston hotel find fugitives, meth lab

Miller, Johnston and Lane
Miller, Johnston and Lane

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Police officers patrolling a North Charleston hotel found two fugitives and arrested three other people after finding a meth lab in a hotel room.

It all started Wednesday night, when police officers say they spotted 26-year-old Clinton Joseph Clark loitering by a silver Camry, which had its windows down, in the parking lot of the Springhill Suites at 7595 North Forest Drive.

Clark told officers that he did not have a room at the hotel but was waiting for his friends outside. When officers ran Clark's information, they discovered that he had an active warrant out of Dorchester County, and arrested him.

Authorities then asked the hotel's front desk which room the Camry's owners were to notify them that the vehicle was unsecured. The front desk told officers the room number of the owners of the Camry, and told them that they had received noise complaints regarding the people in that room.

When officers got to the room, police say they heard loud music and talking.

An incident report states after officers knocked on the door and identified themselves as police officers, an unidentified man came to the door, but refused to open it. When officers asked to speak with him in reference to the Camry, the man shouted that he did not own the car. As officers were leaving the building, they noticed the window screen of the room had been cut, and a key was thrown from the opening. Officers say the key belonged to the Camry.

When officers told the manager of the hotel about the damaged window screen, he told police that he was evicting the people from the room and pressing charges for malicious damage to property. Officers said they caught two of the people who were in the room, 27-year-old Glenn Lane and 31-year-old Daniel Johnston, leaving through a stairwell.

Officers then learned that there were possibly more people in the room, and knocked on the door telling anyone inside that hotel staff were evicting them and they were being charged. A woman, later identified as 28-year-old Amanda Miller, then answered the door and said she was not coming out. At that time, officers said they could hear moving and banging noises coming from the room as well as water being turned on.

Authorities say officers outside the hotel saw two glass bongs tossed from the hole in the window screen. A police report states officers found a small amount of green plant like material in one of the bongs. Police officers as they tried for 30 minutes to get Miller to open the door, they heard loud noises continuing to come from the room.

Miller was eventually arrested after hotel management used an emergency key to open the door.

Authorities say as they were performing a protective sweep of the room, they detected noxious chemical odors in the room and discovered ingredients for a meth lab behind a couch. Investigators found a bottle of drain cleaner, a Gatorade bottle full of clear fuel with some drain cleaner and black lithium strips floating in the liquid.

According to investigators, a bag containing white power was seen next to the drain cleaner and Gatorade bottle. Authorities say they believed all the items were part of a "one pot cook laboratory" being used to produce meth.

While waiting for a warrant, another man, 26-year-old Charles O'Conner approached officers and asked what was happening in the room. When officers checked O'Conner's information, they discovered that he had an active warrant out of Summerville. Officers then arrested O'Conner.

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