State Police break up suspected meth lab in Chester

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email

CHESTER, VA (WWBT) - A Florida man is sitting behind bars tonight accused of operating a meth lab out of a hotel in Chester.

According to State Police, 31 year old Joshua A. Rhodes was operating the lab in a room at the Days Inn in the 2400 block of West Hundred Road.

It wasn't like state police had been staking out the days inn in Chester for weeks hoping for a break in this case.  The meth lab was shut down after a simple tip from a concerned person who was afraid the suspect was a little suspicious.

The Days Inn sits on a busy street with plenty of commercial traffic.

No one suspected anything was wrong until someone flagged down a State Trooper and informed him of what Rhodes was allegedly doing. Within minutes, Trooper S.D. Holland said he saw Rhodes getting into a car and noticed pretty quickly that his license plate was expired.

But it was a big leap from a simple traffic stop to reigning in a lab allegedly producing dangerous methamphetamine.

Based on what Holland learned in the traffic stop, he was able to get an affidavit for a search warrant. Room 240 on the second floor of the Days Inn was searched.

What they found was enough to call in Haz-Mat crews.  It was also enough for Joshua Rhodes to be charged with felony production of a controlled substance. The materials used to produce meth, when combined are so dangerous that they can lead to explosions and fire.

It was enough to force state police to evacuate six different rooms in the hotel.

Rhodes is now being held without bond in the Chesterfield County Jail.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.