A Bridgewater man accused of having a mobile methamphetamine lab on South High Street in October pleaded guilty Tuesday in Rockingham County Circuit Court.
Shane Allen Crites, 22, pleaded guilty to felony drug possession, felony manufacturing methamphetamine, felony possession of a precursor to making meth and felony drug distribution.
As part of a plea deal, Judge Bruce Albertson sentenced Crites to 30 years in prison with all but two years and 10 months suspended.
The investigation into Crites began on Oct. 3 when Harrisonburg police responded to a domestic dispute at the Mercy House Thrift Store, 1005 S. High St.
Witnesses told officers that a man involved in the dispute fled on foot carrying a small red cooler across the street to the parking lot of Rockingham Cooperative. Police say the man left the cooler on the side of the road.
Inside the cooler was mobile meth lab. Mobile meth labs are tactics drug manufacturers often use to help evade detection by authorities. One method is known as "shake and bake" and usually only requires mixing the ingredients in a 2-liter soda bottle.
The Harrisonburg Fire Department's hazardous materials team and the RUSH Drug Task Force were called to the scene because the chemicals involved to make meth are extremely volatile. When they are mixed, an explosion can occur.
Crites was being held at Rockingham County Jail without bond.
Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or firstname.lastname@example.org