Family meth lab cases disposed

By Terri Flagg - [email protected]

Surry County Courthouse

Terri Flagg | The News

DOBSON — Crystal Sue Hodges sat in the front row of the courtroom gallery on Thursday, wiping tears away as her father, Charles Ray Pack, pleaded guilty to a felony drug charge.

Hodges had been convicted of related charges only the day before and her husband, Jason Alton Hodges, in September.

The trio, who all shared the same Ayers Circle address, according to court documents, had been arrested in November 2015 following an investigation by the Mount Airy Police Department and the Surry County Sheriff’s Office.

During the Superior Court hearing on Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Tim Watson told the court that investigators began surveillance and observed the co-defendants purchasing pseudoephedrine, a methamphetamine precursor, from various drug stores in the area.

A search warrant executed at the home yielded several items used to manufacture methamphetamine and 13.8 grams of meth in the residence, Watson said.

Officers found evidence that at least 92 individual “one-pot” labs had been used to cook methamphetamine at the residence while executing a search warrant, according to a statement released by the sheriff’s office shortly after the arrests were made.

In September, Jason Hodges, 39, pleaded guilty to possession or distribution of a methamphetamine precursor, manufacturing methamphetamine and the lesser charge of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, and was given two consecutive intermediate sentences with 48 months of supervised probation.

The first included 211 days credited for time served and a 16- to 29-month suspended sentence. The second included 90 days credited for time served with a suspended sentence of 6 to 17 months.

On Wednesday, Crystal Hodges pleaded guilty to possession or distribution of methamphetamine precursors, a class F felony, two counts of misdemeanor larceny, possession of stolen goods or property and misdemeanor aid and abet larceny.

Charges of maintaining a drug vehicle or dwelling, felony conspiracy and manufacturing methamphetamine were dismissed through a plea agreement.

She was given an intermediate sentence that included 80 days’ credit for time served and a suspended 12- to 26-month term of incarceration.

Crystal Hodges was placed on 36 months of supervised probation and ordered to pay about $300 in restitution to Walmart.

On Thursday, Pack pleaded guilty by Alford decision to maintaining a drug vehicle or dwelling. Charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia were dismissed.

An Alford plea indicates the defendant finds it in their best interests to plead guilty but doesn’t admit to actually having committed the crime.

Pack’s defense attorney David Erdmann told the court that the lab had been located in a tent set up in a wooded area in the backyard.

“He said they didn’t know they were manufacturing meth,” said Erdmann.

Presiding Judge A. Moses Massey noted the state’s allegation that Pack had purchased pseudoephedrine.

Erdmann asked Massey to accept the plea, adding that his client’s most recent felony conviction occurred in 1979.

“I don’t believe he’s a risk to the community,” Erdmann said. “It’s hard to turn your back on your child even if they’re going the wrong way.”

Pack was given a suspended sentence of six to 17 months and placed on supervised probation for 24 months.

Surry County Courthouse County Courthouse Terri Flagg | The News

By Terri Flagg

[email protected]

Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.

Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.

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