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Meth lab discovered 600 feet from daycare

By Lyndsey Price, lprice@wcyb.com
Published On: Jun 10 2013 03:48:43 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 10 2013 03:49:07 PM CDT

A tip to the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office led to a meth lab just a few hundred feet from a daycare center.

HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. -

A tip to the Hawkins County, Tennessee Sheriff's Office led to a meth lab just a few hundred feet from a daycare center.

We learned that the meth lab was in the Bulls Gap community off of Northridge Circle. It's a calm, quiet neighborhood where some parents drop their children off for daycare. "It’s a close community, very peaceful. Never had any problems like this before," said Discovery Days Childcare's director Connie Hodges.

What was quiet quickly became loud as the Hawkins County Sheriff's Narcotics Unit showed up to a home where they were tipped off about a meth lab inside. "They got confessions, they've been making meth there and have been for quite some time," said Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson.

Police say they found a meth lab on the porch of the home. They then arrested the occupant, Donald Martin Rife, and his live-in girlfriend Jessica Lynn Daniels.

The meth lab was discovered in a home only 600 feet away from a child daycare center directly down the road.

The daycare director tells News 5 it frustrates her that someone would do something so dangerous that close to children. "It does bother me that people have a lot of nerve to do something dangerous around children, knowing that there are children around," said Hodges.

Lawson tells News 5 what bothers him most is that the couple was dumping the parts they were done with throughout the neighborhood. "That made it even more difficult because those children in the neighborhood could pick up some of that stuff," said Lawson.

Hodges says she still feels safe in the neighborhood because things like this could happen anywhere. "I still feel pretty safe here. We're safe, we would protect the children with our lives," said Hodges.

Sheriff Lawson tells us as of Friday both Rife and Daniels are in the Hawkins County Jail on a $75,000 bond.

Hodges tells us she's happy everything happened in the afternoon and the kids didn't have to see the police at the home.