Deputies find meth lab in home basement, family had no idea

Deputies find meth lab in home basement, family had no idea
Cleveland County officials find meth lab inside a Shelby home.

SHELBY, NC (WBTV) - A family out of Cleveland County is horrified to find out there was an entire meth lab built inside of their basement. The lab was found by sheriff’s deputies and two people are now sitting behind bars.

According to Cleveland County officials, the family who live in the home had agreed to let a relative stay with her boyfriend in the basement. Throughout time the couple built that meth lab and no one ever suspected a thing.

The actions of Tonya Wilmarth Cargo, 38, and her 50-year-old boyfriend Robin Plummer has disturbed a community in Shelby. County and state investigators are working to safely get rid of the lab that was found in the basement of a home on Polkville Road.

J.C. Helms who lives just down the street tells WBTV’s Bria Bell he is completely taken away by the news.

“It’s dangerous as natural gas in a home blowing up. You know? It’s the same thing. It’s a chemical that can explode,” Helms said.

One concern that’s really bothered Helms is the impact this situation could have on kids who live nearby as Union Elementary sits yards away from where the meth lab was found.

“Because you think, what has our world come to. Because what kind of message is that sending out to our youth,” Helms continued.

Officials say they’ve notified school officials about their findings and have no reason to believe there was any threat to children.

Officers only found out that Tonya Wilmarth Cargo and Robin Plummer were acting as chemists when they went to check on the two for a probation search. Both of them have previous drug charges out of Mecklenburg county.

J.C. Helms is glad that the lab was shut down, but says it’s not easy to rest his mind because he wonders if others in his community are also struggling with a drug problem.

“You don’t know how many more are right around us that we don’t know about.”

This is the second meth lab that has been found by officials this year. Both Plummer and Cargo have a bond of $100,000.

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