BEAR CREEK - The Bear Creek Police Department was at the right place at the right time, when they caught a man on a stolen four wheeler in possession of an active methamphetamine lab and firearms in the parking lot in the presence of students at Phillips School.
Tommy Levi Lolley, 27, of 135 County Highway 137 Phil Campbell, was charged with manufacturing first degree, possession of marijuana first degree, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a sawed off shotgun, possession of a pistol without a permit, receiving stolen property, according to Bear Creek Police Sgt. Austin Lewis.
Lewis was at the high school talking to students and teachers around 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 4, while they were preparing floats for their homecoming parade, when he left and went around to the area where the school buses are parked, he said.
Austin noticed a man on a four-wheeler crossing the railroad tracks then turning into the students’ parking lot while traveling at a high rate of speed, he said.
When the man saw Austin activate the blue lights on his patrol vehicle, he sped up, but only traveled another 40 yards when Lewis stopped him, Lewis said.
When Lewis stopped the man, the man removed his helmet and was asked for license, said Lewis, adding he wrote Lolley a ticket for reckless driving.
“When he crossed the track, he was going pretty fast, plus kids were in the parking lot,” Lewis said.
Lewis asked the man if he had anything on his person, to which he responded no. Lewis then requested a pat down of the subject, finding a knife which was removed and placed on the back of the four wheeler, Lewis said.
“I noticed the tool box on the front of the four wheeler,” Lewis said. When asked, Lolley said there was nothing inside it, but gave consent to search.
However, before Lewis opened the tool box, Lolley started to “freak out,” Lewis said.
Inside the tool box was a 22 caliber pistol loaded and a sawed off 410 shot gun with ammunition, according to Lewis.
Inside a clear box was a pipe and a bag containing about .8 grams of a substance believed to be crystalized methamphetamine, about a gram of marijuana in a plastic bag and a 20 ounce bottle containing an active meth lab, police pointed out.
“It was definitely a working lab,” pointed out Bear Creek Police Chief Clay Wilson. “It had pseudo-ephedrine, lithium strips, the whole nine yards.”
Chief Wilson had responded to the scene to assist, requesting Lt. Tim Steien, investigator with the Haleyville Police Department, who is haz mat certified, to come and dismantle the meth lab for the safety of those involved as well as the people at the school, police said.
The Vehicle Identification Number of the four wheeler was run, indicating it was a 2006 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO that had been reportedly stolen on Sept. 29, from a four-wheeler dealership in Hamilton, police said.
Lolley at this point, was placed in the back of a patrol vehicle and read his Miranda Rights, Chief Wilson stated.
Lolley was transported to the Marion County Jail, Hamilton. Scotty Chandler of Hamilton PD was contacted and Lyle’s Wrecker Service came on the scene to remove the four wheeler, Chief Wilson.
The owner of the four-wheeler dealership in Hamilton, from where the four wheeler was stolen, was contacted to take possession of it, police said.
Police received permission to search Lolley’s residence with Chief Wilson and Lewis meeting the defendant’s mother at the scene who let them in, police said.
Inside the residence, police they found in a tackle box all of the ingredients to make meth, such as drain cleaner, fertilizer, funnel, chloric acid, plyers, tubes, lithium batteries as well as a loaded syringe and numbers other syringes, police said.
Chief Wilson noted that drug activity in the town will not be tolerated.
“In the city of Bear Creek, with it being a new police chief and a sergeant on patrol in town, that is a message for anybody that wants to come to Bear Creek,” Chief Wilson pointed out.
“To be around the school or anywhere in the town committing crimes or having drugs involved, that will not be tolerated,” Wilson stressed.
Wilson added this case turned out for the good and safety of the students and teachers at Phillips School.
“It could have turned out a lot worse,” he said, “with a subject riding around the school with an active meth lab on the front of it, without any regard for the kids or teachers at the school.”
Wilson thanked Lt. Steien for responding in a timely manner, taking possession of the meth lab and bringing the situation to a safe standpoint.
“Law enforcement, local agencies have to work together to succeed,” he stated.
The Alabama Department of Tobacco and Firearms was contacted about the firearm not being registered properly, according to Wilson.
The meth is being sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science for further evaluation.
“Bear Creek is wanting to see change,” Lewis pointed out.
*When a defendant is charged with a crime, the charge is merely an accusation until or unless proven guilty in a court of law.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.