Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

February 10, 2011

Meth labs found in chase vehicle

By SUSAN TEBBEN
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — A pursuit on two Barren County roads led to the arrest of an Edmonton man and two Glasgow women early Wednesday morning on fleeing and drug charges.

Just before 3 a.m. Feb. 9, Deputy Rodney Sponhouse of the Barren County Sheriff’s Office attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a 2004 Oldsmobile Alero east of Glasgow on Burkesville Road, after noticing the vehicle had no working brake lights.

The alleged driver of the vehicle, Joshua U. Lessenberry, 29, of Edmonton, began to flee, according to a sheriff’s office report. This began a pursuit that continued for several miles until the driver slammed on his brakes.

Sponhouse’s cruiser hit the vehicle on Genie Franklin Road, where Lessenberry and his two passengers, Kristina E. Flannery, 26 and Alicia S. Byrd, 32, were all taken into custody. Sponhouse’s cruiser sustained damage to the front bumper, front-side panel and one headlight, Sponhouse said. An estimate will be done Thursday to determine the cost to repair the vehicle.

When law enforcement searched the vehicle they found two shake-and-bake (usually producing only one dose) methamphetamine labs along with chemicals and equipment used in the making of meth, some of which included tubing, drain cleaner, rock salt and other items of paraphernalia, according to a the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Chris Eaton said this is only one in a frightening trend in the county of use of this particular drug.

“I don’t think people realize how dangerous the meth situation is getting in Barren County,” Eaton said.

Nearly every time a deputy attempts to pull someone over for something meth-related they become involved in a car chase, according to Eaton.

“At sometime one of these cars is going to explode,” he said.

Eaton’s comment came on the heels of new legislation discussed in the Kentucky legislature to make pseudoephedrine, a critical part in making methamphetamine, according to experts, accessible only by prescription.

Joshua U. Lessenberry is charged with having no brake lights; first-degree fleeing or evading police; operating on a suspended or revoked operator’s license; first-degree wanton endangerment; resisting arrest; unlawful possession of a meth precursor, first offense; manufacturing methamphetamine, first offense; and first-degree criminal mischief. Lessenberry was also served an outstanding Barren County arrest warrant for first-degree possession of a controlled substance, first offense; possession of drug paraphernalia; and persistent felony offender.

Kristina E. Flannery is charged with resisting arrest; unlawful possession of a meth precursor, first offense; and manufacturing methamphetamine, first offense.

Alicia S. Byrd is charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon; unlawful possession of a meth precursor, first offense; and manufacturing methamphetamine, first offense.

All three subjects were lodged in the Barren County Corrections Center. Lessenberry is being held on a total of $25,500 cash bond. Flannery and Byrd are each being held on $25,000 cash bond.

Sponhouse was assisted in the pursuit and investigation by Deputy Greg Kinslow and hazardous materials coordinator Shannon White.

Burton Speakman contributed to this report.