FLORENCE — A Lauderdale County man and his girlfriend who are accused of having three children and two dogs near a meth lab have been indicted on drug-related charges including chemical endangerment of a child and animal cruelty, officials said.
Jonathan Rex Nash, 27, 6910 Lauderdale 7, Florence, and Tiffany Dawn Baker, 24, same address, each were indicted on charges of first-degree manufacturing a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, three counts of chemical endangerment of a child and two counts of animal cruelty.
Reports indicate the two were arrested Aug. 8, during a traffic stop on Lauderdale 6.
Deputies found an active methamphetamine lab in the trunk of the car, according to reports.
"The kids (all younger than 10) were in the back seat along with two dogs," said Lowery Davis, a member of the Lauderdale County Drug Task Force.
He said chemicals and other ingredients used in the manufacturing process were found in the backseat with the children and the dogs.
Davis said there was an armrest in the backseat of the car that folded down and a hole in the seat was allowing fumes and chemical odors into the car with the children and the dogs.
Reports indicate the children were taken to the hospital to be examined and the dogs were taken to a local veterinary.
Davis said it was obvious the animals were neglected, and one had sores all over its belly.
"It was going through withdrawals from meth, having convulsions and wouldn't eat or drink," Davis said.
He said both dogs were treated and have improved.
He said these are the first animal cruelty cases that involve animals being exposed to meth.
Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly said the cases could be placed on the circuit court docket for January.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.