Infant taken into custody during Meth lab bust at motel

Leann Studd & Jonathon Pope (Source: Kershaw County Detention Center)
Leann Studd & Jonathon Pope (Source: Kershaw County Detention Center)
By Jason Old - email

KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Deputies are looking for two suspects after two people were arrested and their 1-month-old baby was taken into protective custody when investigators discovered a Methamphetamine lab inside a room at a Lugoff motel.

Acting on a tip from a concerned citizen, Kershaw County narcotics investigators arrested Leann Studd, 26, of Bethpage, TN and Jonathan Michael Pope, 26, on Friday afternoon after discovering small quantities of Methamphetamine and instruments used for smoking the drug, as well as some other controlled substances inside room 12 at the Economy Inn on US 1. Also inside that room was an infant believed to be their child.

Studd and Pope were charged with possession of Methamphetamine. Studd was also charged with unlawful possession of schedule IV narcotics.

The infant is now in the custody of the SC Department of Social Services. Studd advised officers that she had 4 other children who had been taken from her and were in protective custody in Tennessee.

Studd and Pope were taken to the Kershaw County Detention Center. Pope is wanted out of Tennessee for a probation violation related to theft of $10K to $60K, as well as domestic assault and aggravated burglary charges. Pope was also listed as having violent tendencies, deputies said.

Following the arrests of Studd and Pope, agents proceeded to room 19 of the same motel where they executed a search warrant and seized a Meth lab. Based on evidence seized in that room, agents obtained arrest warrants for Nicole Marie Goodwin, 24 of Camden and Christopher Britt Walker, 27 of Elgin. 

Inside the room was a functional Methamphetamine lab and equipment, as well as quantities of the drug, according to investigators. Identification, clothing and hotel management confirmed that Nicole Marie Goodwin and Christopher Britt Walker were the occupants of the room, Sheriff Jim Matthews said.

Pope advised officers that Christopher Walker, who was staying in room 19, was making Meth in his room and that occasionally, when the fumes got too bad in his room, Walker would make Meth in Pope and Studd's room, Matthews said.

Agents ventilated the room and called the Lugoff Fire Department after their discovery. A Meth lab cleanup crew was also called to the scene to safely clean up the area.

Warrants have been obtained for Goodwin and Walker charging them with possession and manufacturing Methamphetamine. Walker has numerous previous arrests for criminal domestic violence and assault charges, Matthews said. 

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Nicole Marie Goodwin, whose last known address is 1008 Brown St. in Camden, or Christopher Britt Walker, whose last known address is 2492 Ft. Jackson Rd. Elgin, is urged to contact the Kershaw County Sheriff's Office at 425-1512 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

No pictures of Goodwin or Walker were released. 

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