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Man's snake hallucinations lead to meth lab bust

Shelby Star, June 25, 2012

SHELBY, North Carolina — A 56-year-old man’s snake hallucinations landed him in jail facing various methamphetamine charges Monday, according to a Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office press release.

A deputy arrived at 4117 West Dixon Blvd. around 5 p.m. The man who lived at the home had called 911 for assistance.

The man told the deputy he was being attacked by deadly snakes. He asked the deputy to search the home for the legless reptiles; he also asked the deputy to remove the snakes from the home if any were found, according to the press release. Once inside the home, the deputy found products consistent with creating methamphetamine, Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman said.

Norman defined the lab as “inactive,” meaning meth wasn’t being made at the time of the suspect’s arrest. Norman wouldn’t provide specifics about what products were inside the West Dixon Boulevard home.

The deputy identified the suspect as Myron Ritchie Tesseneer. He faces three charges: manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of precursor chemicals. Tesseneer confessed to smoking meth earlier in the day before he was arrested, the press release states.

This marks the ninth meth lab found in Cleveland County this year. It’s the second meth lab investigated by the sheriff's office in 72 hours. A three-agency meth lab investigation resulted in a Kings Mountain couple’s arrest Friday.

“All of law enforcement is taking an aggressive approach to rid the county of this poison from drug dealers and drug users,” Norman said.

Yellow caution tape blocked the entrance to the deserted West Dixon Boulevard home. Wind moved knee-high grass. The front door, marked with chipped black paint, was ajar.

No. 7 Volunteer Fire Department, Cleveland County Emergency Management and the State Bureau of Investigation assisted at the scene.

A contracted Hazmat team was expected to dismantle the lab late Monday night, Norman said.

Tesseneer was jailed at the Cleveland County Detention Center. Tesseneer has no bond for violating his probation, according to Norman.

The deputy searched in and around the home for the snakes. None were found, according to the press release.