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Police: Bogus ghost hunters try to hide meth operation

A phony search for paranormal activity in Caldwell County led deputies to a meth cook operation, the Sheriff’s Office says.

Investigators say Sonny Clay Hyatt, 39, called 911 himself on Monday when he got lost in the woods off Goat Farm Road.

Officials say he claimed to get separated from his friends while they investigated ghost stories. Deputies used the cellphone signal to track down Hyatt.

The Sheriff’s Office suspected there was more to Hyatt’s story and questioned him further. He told police his friends, 38-year-old Thomas Glenn Imler Jr. and 31-year-old Eric John Schmidt, made it out of the woods safely and went back to Hyatt’s apartment in the 300 block of Laurel Street.

After further investigation, police say Hyatt admitted he and his friends went into the woods to make meth, being afraid to do it in the apartment.

The suspects got into an argument when the cook failed, and the other two left separately. Deputies allegedly found evidence of a meth lab, including the chemicals to make the drug, inside of the apartment. Police say all three men had a role in the cook.

Each was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine precursor chemicals. Deputies booked them into the Caldwell County Detention Center on $50,000 bonds.

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