Nick Lange, 47, of New Smyrna Beach; Robert Steedly, 34, of Tavares and Eddie Selph, 23, of New Smyrna Beach; were all arrested Sunday after the Volusia Bureau of Investigation busted a meth lab operating on Glencoe Road outside the New Smyrna Beach city limits. Lange and Steedly were charged in coonnection with the meth lab and Selph on grand theft auto charges.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- An anonymous complaint led Volusia County narcotics agents to a home methamphetamine lab Sunday morning near New Smyrna Beach that resulted in two narcotics arrests, a Sheriff's spokesman said.
The investigation didn't stop there, though.
Sheriff's deputies discovered that the vehicle sitting in the front yard had been reported stolen the previous day, and then a man pulled up to the house driving yet another stolen vehicle. The driver was arrested for violation of probation, and an ongoing investigation is being conducted concerning the stolen vehicles.
"The string of arrests began at 9:30 a.m. at 535 N. Glencoe Road when investigators from the Volusia Bureau of Investigation followed up on a tip that there was narcotics activity at the home," Sheriff's spokesman Brandon Haught said. "As investigators approached an apartment behind the main building, they immediately noticed the telltale strong chemical odor that accompanies meth labs.
They knocked on the door and spoke with Nick Lange, 47, of New Smyrna Beach, who allowed the investigators into the apartment. That's when they spotted a butane torch on the living room floor and several baggies nearby, Haught said.
These materials are commonly used during the manufacture of methamphetamine, and coupled with the chemical smell they prompted the investigators to obtain a search warrant. Lange and another man who was with him, Robert Steedley, were detained as the investigation continued. When investigators first entered the apartment, they found Steedley with a smoking pipe, and then they found a baggie in his pocket that had meth residue in it, Haught said.
Steedly, 34, of Tavares, was arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
A little while later the East Volusia Narcotics Task Force assisted VBI in executing the search warrant. A careful search of the apartment turned up plenty of other meth-making materials and drug residue that led to charging Lange, 47, with manufacture of methamphetamines, possession of methamphetamines, possession of listed chemicals and possession of drug paraphernalia. In addition to all of the activity inside the apartment, there were suspicious things going on outside, too.
A Pontiac Firebird was sitting in the front yard that fit the description of a vehicle reported stolen to the Edgewater Police Department on Saturday. A closer inspection verified this, Haught said.
Then at 1 p.m., deputies spotted Eddie Selph, 23, of New Smyrna Beach, behind the wheel of a truck as he drove down Glencoe Road. Selph had recently been arrested and deputies knew that he had a suspended driver's license. This led to charges of driving with a suspended license and violation of probation.
It was then discovered that the truck he was driving had also been reported stolen, but Selph claimed that the truck had been given to him as a gift.
An investigation by the Sheriff's Office's Auto Theft Unit is ongoing.
Steedley, Lange and Selph were all booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach.