Beaufort County pair charged again with making meth

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BEAUFORT COUNTY

Beaufort County pair charged again with making meth

By ALLISON STICE
astice@islandpacket.com
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013   |  444 Words  |  

A Beaufort man and a Lady's Island woman face drug charges after investigators found equipment to make methamphetamine and a small amount of the drug in their hotel room in Beaufort, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

Christopher Lyles, 36, and Melanie Shepherd, 38, have faced similar charges of meth possession and manufacturing before, according to court filings and the Beaufort County Detention Center log.

Lyles was recently free on bond in connection with seven charges lodged in November related to manufacturing and using methamphetamine.

Last week, the Sheriff's Office Drug Investigations Section got a tip that Shepherd and Lyles were making and using meth in a room at the Atlantic Inn on Boundary Street.

Investigators got a search warrant for the room the pair were in and found "chemicals and apparatuses" commonly used to make meth, according to a news release. They also found less than a gram of meth.

At the time of her arrest, Shepherd faced an outstanding warrant for violating probation, the release said. Both Shepherd and Lyles are being held in the county jail in lieu of $60,000 bond.

In November, the pair were arrested on meth charges by Beaufort police after a search of their home on Adventure Street, according to Police Chief Matt Clancy. Officers were investigating reports of suspicious activity and got a search warrant after determining drug activity was likely taking place at the house.

No one was at the residence when investigators searched it, but evidence collected led authorities to charge Lyles and Shepherd on Nov. 14, Clancy said. Clancy could not immediately say what evidence investigators recovered, but both Lyles and Shepherd were charged with manufacturing and possession of methamphetamine, conspiracy to violate drug laws, household-living violations, shoplifting, and sale and distribution of methadone, according to the jail log.

Charges against Shepherd were dropped for lack of evidence during a preliminary hearing before a magistrate, according to Solicitor's Office spokesman Daniel Brownstein.

However, the charges against Lyles are still pending, and he was in the county jail in lieu of $60,000 bond until Jan. 23 for those charges. His bond was reduced by a Circuit Court judge in January, and he was released on personal recognizance, according to court filings.

Brownstein said the new charges against Lyles will be combined with his prior charges, although it will be up to the prosecutor whether he will be tried on all of them at once.