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Third person accused in meth lab operation

By Staff | Mar 28, 2012

A third person has been arrested in connection to a meth lab operation that local authorities busted last week at a home in northwest Cape Coral.

Russell Wayne Baxter Jr., 28, was charged Sunday with drugs produce possess structure vehicle know drugs manufactured minor present, drugs produce methamphetamine, traffic methamphetamine or amphetamine 14 grams or over and neglect child without great harm.

On Wednesday, he remained at the Lee County Jail without bond.

According to a report, Baxter lived at the home at 2122 Jacaranda Parkway W., with his mother, Michelle T. Bishop, 67, and Christopher J. Evans, 34.

Bishop and Evans were taken into custody by police during the bust.

They each were charged with the same four counts as Baxter.

Both remained at the jail Wednesday on $75,000 bonds.

“He (Baxter) wasn’t at the house at the time those two were arrested,” Lt. Tony Sizemore, the spokesman for the Cape police, said.

On Sunday, police learned that Baxter was hiding out in the 300 block of Southeast 17th Place. Officers made contact and took him into custody.

“It’s the same case,” Sizemore said. “It wasn’t an additional lab.”

Cape police began investigating the meth lab after receiving a tip, officials said. Detectives, forensics personnel and hazmat crews helped to dismantle the operation Thursday, along with the Lee County bomb squad and the DEA.

Police seized more than 12 ounces of manufactured methamphetamine.

More than 6 grams constitutes trafficking, officials reported.

The Department of Children and Families removed three children – siblings – from the home during the bust. As of Wednesday, the children were being held in state foster care and an investigation by the agency was continuing.

“The investigation is still ongoing,” DCF spokeswoman Terri Durdaller said.

According to Durdaller, the family has previously been investigated.

“We have had prior involvement with this family,” she said last week.

Per department policy, Durdaller could not share how many investigations have been opened, when they were conducted nor the outcomes of them.

She also could not provide the ages or sexes of the children.

Baxter has a court appearance scheduled for April 16.

Bishop and Evans are to appear in court on April 23.