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Sexual assault probe leads to alleged meth lab in Belmont

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/10/15/07/29/wqgLe.Em.138.jpeg|410
    - Gaston County Jail photo
    Belmont police say Tammy Earline Dillard, 43, was arrested Saturday on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine. (Gaston County Jail photo.)
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/10/15/07/30/IAZlN.Em.138.jpeg|472
    - Gaston County Jail photo
    Belmont police say Gary Ross Brewster, 47, was arrested Saturday on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine. (Gaston County Jail photo.)

Belmont police say a weekend investigation into an alleged sexual assault led officers to a suspected methamphetamine lab.

Two Belmont residents were arrested as a result of the discovery, according to police. They were identified as Tammy Earline Dillard, 43, and Gary Ross Brewster, 47.

Chief Charlie Franklin says officers were called Saturday to an undisclosed address to respond to the sexual assault allegation.

“While the officers were speaking to witnesses, they gathered information that a possible meth lab was being operated,” Franklin says.

So officers went to the address, knocked on the door, and talked to the occupants.

“The officers really didn’t know if there was anything going on there or not,” Franklin says. “All they did was go over to the house and talk to the people there.”

But Franklin says the officers detected a chemical odor consistent with meth production. The officers immediately ended the discussion and got a search warrant, police say.

With the help of Gastonia and Gaston County police and the SBI, a search was conducted of the house. Franklin says officers found methamphetamine, along with burners, cold packs, and what the chief calls “a significant amount” of over-the-counter medication that can be used to make meth.

Records show the suspects, Dillard and Brewster, lived at the Greenway Circle house. They were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and jailed under $50,000 bond. Police say additional charges are pending.

Dillard and Brewster remained in a Gaston County jail Tuesday.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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