(Cushing) – Three people were arrested Tuesday afternoon in connection with the discovery of a meth lab in Cushing.   Cushing Police Chief Terry Brannon issued a statement via Nixle describing what happened Tuesday afternoon.

On December 15, 2009, just after 2:15 p.m., Cushing police went to a residence in the 1200 blk E. Greenlee Street, to attempt to serve an active Payne County arrest warrant. While police were at the residence, they encountered a person coming out of the back door, later identified as Cushing resident Robert J. McNeal, WM, DOB: 10-18-56. During contact with McNeal, officers smelt a strong chemical odor coming from inside of the house. While questioning McNeal, police learned that there was an active meth lab inside of the house. Also inside of the residence was Cushing resident Joyce R. Smith, WF, DOB: 04-13-58, and Kendrick resident Clifton Fisher, WM, DOB: 08-12-50.

Police at the scene secured the house, and summoned the Cushing Fire Department to the scene because of the chemicals associated with the meth lab. The fire department provided continuous air quality checks to ensure the safety of all persons in and around the house, including the arrestees. In addition, Deputy Greg Russell., a member of the Payne County Sheriff’s Department and a certified lab technician, was sent to the scene to help Cushing police detective Adam Harp and Officer Matthew Piatt collect evidence. S.E.T. Environmental also responded to collect the hazardous waste that was left behind as a result of the alleged illegal drug manufacturing that was taking place at the residence.

At the conclusion of the investigation by Cushing police Sgt. Jack Ford, McNeal and Smith were both arrested and booked into the Cushing jail on a complaint of manufacturing methamphetamine. Fisher, who was alleged to have been visiting the residence, was arrested on an outstanding Washita County warrant for failure to appear. Fisher was also booked into the Cushing jail.

Smith and McNeal were both taken to the Payne County jail this morning where they are expected to be arraigned this afternoon. Fisher remains in the Cushing jail this morning awaiting transport back to Washita County.

Chief Terry Brannon said, “I am very pleased with the proactive efforts of my officers in trying to serve an active county arrest warrant. While the person we were looking for was not there, we took away the opportunity for the drugs that were being allegedly cooked to be sold on our streets. I commend the work of Sgt. Jack Ford, Officer Matthew Piatt, Officer Jerrod Livergood, and Officer Randy Evans. Evidence collection is one of the hardest parts of these types of investigations, so I really commend the patients demonstrated by Detective Adam Harp and Officer Piatt, ensuring the evidence that was collected was done systematically and properly.”

Brannon Continued, “I cannot underscore enough the cooperative efforts of Chief Brent Kerr and the Cushing Fire Department, as well as the Payne County Sheriff’s Department who provided a certified lab technician to help us collect evidence. All of these efforts equate to our commitment to help keep Cushing a safe, livable Cushing.”

***