A Wilson County grand jury indicted two suspects apparently involved in a meth lab explosion that blew out the wall of a Travel Inn motel room in Lebanon last month.
According to police Chief Scott Bowen, indictments were handed down on Gary Bennett, 36, of Carthage, and Samuel Forrester, 36, of Carthage. Both men were charged with manufacture of methamphetamine more than 0.5 grams, promotion of methamphetamine manufacture, initiation of a process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine, reckless endangerment and five counts of simple assault. Bennett also has methamphetamine charges pending in Smith County from an August incident.
“Methamphetamine labs are very dangerous because of the mixture of chemicals used in the making of meth,” Bowen said. “Hotels are common places for the labs to be set up. If you smell a strange chemical odor, or see a lot of foot traffic in and out of one particular hotel room, please call your local police department.”
The explosion happened Oct. 12 in room 272 at the Travel Inn behind O’Charley’s. Bowen said methamphetamine task force officer Chris Luna quarantined the two rooms on each side of where the explosion happened.
The active meth lab explosion blew out the door and wall of the motel room.
Bowen said the incident happened at about 7 p.m. and forced an evacuation of the motel while emergency personnel secured the scene due to the hazardous chemicals involved.
Lebanon officers specially trained to deal with hazardous chemicals and dressed in Hazmat suits using breathing apparatus entered the room to determine whether anyone remained.
State Meth Task Force agents properly disposed of the meth lab and chemicals later that night.