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Police break up two meth labs in Rowan County

Two Rowan County men were arrested separately on Monday and accused of running methamphetamine labs out of their homes, police said.

The first arrest was made at 13175 Old Beatty Ford Road in Gold Hill, where authorities had gone to do probation search.

Rowan County Sheriff’s officers discovered items consistent with the manufacturing of methamphetamine, obtained a search warrant, and arrested Christopher Douglas Earnhardt, 34, after the suspect acknowledged that the meth lab belonged to him, according to police.

Earnhardt was charged with two counts of trafficking methamphetamine by possession and manufacturing, one count of maintaining a dwelling to keep and sell controlled substances, one count of manufacturing methamphetamine, four counts of possession of immediate precursor materials, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond was set at $350,000.

In the other case, officers found a “one-pot” lab, four hydrochloric acid generators, and other items used to produce methamphetamine while executing a search warrant at the Salisbury home of Joseph Orland Murdoch.

Officers originally went to Murdoch’s residence, at 1153 Twin Chapel Drive, to serve a civil paper. The warrant was obtained after a deputy observed canisters of Coleman Camping Fuel, a bottle of sulfuric acid and a plastic two-liter bottle that had the top cut off.

Murdoch, 34, was arrested and charged on three counts of possession of immediate precursor materials, one count of manufacturing methamphetamine, one count of maintaining a dwelling for keeping and selling methamphetamine, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He is being held on $101,000 bond.

Capt. John Sifford of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said the arrests were unrelated.

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