Meth Lab, 90 MPH Car Chase Results In 5 Arrests

A total of 5 people were arrested following the discovery of a meth lab and a car chase with narcotic agents with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office.

Following a month long investigation, agents went to a home at 6870 Devil’s Racetrack Road outside of Four Oaks around 9:00am Tuesday to execute a search warrant for a possible meth lab at the residence.

Agents arrived and after reportedly locating an inactive meth lab inside took 26 year-old Courtney Elizabeth Mitchell of the same address into custody.

Officers obtained information that Jesse James Hall, 26, of Avery Road, Erwin was on the way to Mitchell’s home to allegedly cook methamphetamine.  A short time later Hall drove past the residence then stopped a short distance down the road.

Deputies located Hall’s car and attempted to conduct a traffic stop but he sped away. During a 3.7 mile chase, Hall reached speeds up to 90mph.  Hall pulled into a field and struck an unmarked patrol car before returning to the roadway.  While still being pursued by officers Hall traveled a short distance before pulling into a second field and once again struck the same patrol car.

Agents were able to get Hall stopped and take him and three passengers in his car into custody.

The passengers were identified as Ashley Danielle Howard, 33, of the 6400 block of Godwin Lake Road, Dunn; Richard Dale Baker, 27, of the 400 block of Temple Street, Four Oaks; and Erica Brittney Locklear, 25, of the 6100 block of Old Fairground Road, Benson.

Hall and Mitchell were wanted at the time of Tuesday’s meth lab bust and chase for a March 10th break-in on Tracy Lane near Benson. During the residential break-in the victim’s car was also stolen.

Mitchell was charged with manufacturing methamphetamines and felony possession of stolen property.  Bail was set at $100,000.

Hall was charged with felony fleeing to elude arrest, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer, manufacturing meth, breaking and entering, larceny, and larceny of a motor vehicle.

Howard, Baker and Locklear were all charged with a single count each of manufacturing meth.  Their bail was set at $100,000 each.

No injuries were reported during the chase.  The unmarked patrol car sustained an estimated $5,000 in damage. Damage to the crop in the farmers field was placed at $1,000.

The SBI was called to the scene to assist in the cleanup of the meth lab components.