ROCKINGHAM — Seven people — five women and two men — were recently indicted on federal charges for their roles in manufacturing methamphetamine in Richmond County.
A federal grand jury handed down the indictment — filed July 26 and unsealed Tuesday — charging Brandon Lynn Kiker, Myra Ann Horne, Mary Elizabeth Collins, Raymond Ray Ricky Collins, Donna Pullian Hayden, Dorothy Jean Hayden and Tammy McIntyre Bruner with conspiring together to possess pseudoephedrine, possess materials to manufacture methamphetamine, manufacture quantities of methamphetamine and distribute the drug.
Kiker and Horne are also separately charged with: manufacturing meth; maintaining a place to manufacture and distribute meth; possessing equipment, chemicals and materials used to make meth; and for manufacturing in the presence of a child — who court documents show will be 3 years old later this month.
The pair was arrested by Rockingham police in late June for allegedly cooking the caustic cocktail inside an apartment on Cauthen Drive.
According to a search warrant, investigators found several bottles with residue and various ingredients — including sodium hydroxide, lithium batteries and pseudoephedrine — inside the apartment.
Kiker allegedly told investigators that he had last smoked methamphetamine two days before the arrest and had actively manufactured the drug two to three days prior.
Six of the suspects were recently re-arrested, except for Horne, who had remained in the Richmond County Jail since her June arrest. According to jail staff, they were all picked up by federal marshals Wednesday.
Online court records show Raymond Collins has a court appearance scheduled for August 15 on several misdemeanor charges: two counts of assault on a female; one count of communicating threats; one count of violating a domestic violence protective order; on count of domestic criminal trespassing; one count of breaking and entering; and one count of injury to real property.
Mary Collins is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 26 on two counts of violating the state’s school attendance law, records show.
None of the defendants have prior convictions in the state, according to records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction.
More than 35 individuals have been indicted on federal meth charges in the past several years since the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation initiated a federal investigation with U.S. Attorney Ripley Rand’s office.
More than 20 people were convicted in federal court on charges stemming from Richmond County in 2015.
As of July 22, there had been a total of 239 meth lab seizures in North Carolina, according to the SBI.
Richmond County rounded out the top five with nine. Last year, the county had the third-highest number of lab seizures. Neighboring Anson County now holds that title.
Johnston County continues to lead the state with 21, followed by Wake County with 14. Onslow County has the fourth-highest with 11.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_toler.