StillWaters meth lab bust arrests

The Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force has arrested a husband and wife in connection to the meth lab explosion at StillWaters last week.

Andrew Keith Franklin, 44, and Alura Rashell Franklin, 21, were arrested Monday morning and charged with unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance, second-degree possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. 10 charges of reckless endangerment are also being filed against the Franklins as were chemical endangerment of a child, illegal purchase of a precursor chemical and conspiracy to commit a controlled substance crime.

Andrew Franklin is no stranger to methamphetamines. Court records state he pleaded guilty to trafficking methamphetamine and trafficking illicit drugs in 2005 and was given a spilt sentence of 15 years, three to serve along with a $50,000 fine. He was returned to jail in 2012 for failure to pay the fine.

The late evening explosion on Martin Terrace in StillWaters sent the Franklins scrambling to clean up the lab and one with chemical burns as a result of the blast.

“It was a shake and bake lab,” Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force’s Fred White said Monday after the explosion. “It looks like it exploded in the bathroom. It was more of a pressure explosion. It caused the ceiling tiles to be pushed out of place and blew out the back sliding glass of the condo. It was a lot of pressure.”

Residents of Martin Villas evacuated and waited outside while law enforcement and firefighters made sure everything was safe including the area around the dumpster used by residents.

“It looks like they tried to dispose of some of the materials in and behind the dumpster,” White said. “Inside the dumpster was debris that splattered with chemicals in the explosion and behind was some meth oil.”

Witnesses on the scene said the Franklins left with a baby.

Unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance is a Class B felony. If found guilty, the Franklins  could be sentenced between two and 20 years in prison.

A bond has not yet been set for the Franklins.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.