INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Federal authorities handed down sentences Wednesday for four people involved in what law enforcement called the largest "one pot" methamphetamine lab on the Treasure Coast.
Members of Indian River County's Multi-Agency Criminal Enforcement Unit spent weeks last spring investigating the home in the 1900 block of 22nd Avenue, Vero Beach, the U.S. attorney's office said Wednesday. A confidential informant made a couple of purchases at the home and provided investigators with details of the lab.
On May 9, the investigators obtained a search warrant for the home of Clint and Angela Story and teamed up with the Drug Enforcement Administration when they went to the address. Five arrests were made.
All pleaded guilty to a variety of charges for manufacturing and distributing meth. All but one were sentenced this week. The fifth, Angela Story, will be sentenced next month, the Sheriff's Office said.
The "one pot" method involves shaking up pseudoephedrine (used to treat nasal and sinus congestion) in plastic bottles with chemicals, authorities said. Investigators found 21 containers for cooking meth in the home.
According to affidavits, the group said they had been cooking at the home for about eight months. All of them had been purchasing pseudoephedrine, which the cooks, Clint Story, 30, and Edward McElhenny, 50, used to cook the drug, the affidavits state.
The court determined McElhenny was the organizer of the group, the U.S. attorney's office said. He received the longest sentence — 20 years in federal prison — while the others each received fewer than six years.
Sheriff's Sgt. Anthony Civita said the lab would have been capable of producing 5 grams of meth a day. Usually 1 gram will fetch a dealer $100, he said.