Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

November 25, 2012

UPDATE: 2 deputies injured after meth bust

ARGILLITE — An early Sunday morning police warrant service turned potentially deadly as noxious fumes from a functioning methamphetamine lab engulfed two Greenup County Sheriff’s Department deputies, sending both lawmen to the hospital.

A vaporous haze lingered over the small, white-siding house after midnight as several agencies converged on the scene to offer assistance.

According to Greenup County Sheriff Keith Cooper, at 12:02 a.m., Deputies Rick Craft and Cody Fuller responded to a home at 2943 Culp Creek Rd. in rural Greenup County, aiming to serve a warrant on the resident, Hubert Dehart, 42.

As officers entered the house, Dehart allegedly barricaded himself inside the bathroom where an active and operational, unstable, clandestine meth lab cooked. Blockaded from law enforcement, Dehart attempted to get rid of evidence as deputies gained entry into the bathroom.

In due course, Dehart was detained and taken into custody by both deputies on the scene.

Shortly thereafter, deputies were subsequently overwhelmed by permeating, precarious fumes exuding from meth-making materials. Both were transported to the Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital emergency room for treatment, where Craft was treated and released, police reported.

Fuller was initially admitted into the OLBH intensive care unit. Hospital officials declined to release his condition Sunday.

Greenup Deputy Larry Pancake said Fuller stabilized Sunday afternoon, and was responding, speaking, and communicating well; still undergoing breathing treatments at OLBH to recover from severe meth inhalation, Pancake said.

Pancake awoke in the wee hours Sunday, alerted to bad news. Although it frightened the veteran cop, he trusts his brother will pull through and recuperate.

“Cody is a strong boy and serves the Army reserves,” he paused. “He’s young enough to get through it.”

The near tragedy is wakeup call to area police – and the public, Pancake said.

“First responders are on the front lines everyday and people need to keep them in their prayers every day. Who are the first people you call when you’re in need? First responders…

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