PALM HARBOR — Pinellas sheriff's deputies on Tuesday arrested a man and woman suspected of running a methamphetamine lab on a quiet street here, bringing to a close an investigation that began when deputies stumbled upon the lab while responding to a domestic violence complaint six months ago.
Shiloh Sladon, 36, and Pamela Therrien, 42, were charged with trafficking and manufacturing of methamphetamine, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda said.
At the time of their arrest, Sladon admitted there was a meth lab in the back of the house at 2680 Peterborough Court in Palm Harbor, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff's deputies and Palm Harbor Fire Rescue workers closed off the street Tuesday, and nearby houses were evacuated as hazardous-materials experts prepared to search the home. Barreda said no immediate dangers had been detected, but because of the risks posed by chemicals often found in meth labs, officials were proceeding slowly.
Late Tuesday afternoon, deputies were still at the scene as the process of cleaning up the lab continued.
Deputies were first called to the home in April, Barreda said. Sladon was throwing chemicals at Therrien, his live-in girlfriend, and then became physically violent with her, according to the Sheriff's Office. He was arrested for domestic battery by strangulation, but the charge was dropped, according to jail records.
While at the house in April, deputies discovered what they suspected was a meth lab. Materials from the house were taken from the house and recently tested positive as methamphetamine, Barreda said.
She said there have also been complaints from neighbors concerned about code violations and suspected drug manufacturing at the residence.
Denise DeMott, who lives down the street, said she had no clue there might be a meth lab nearby. She said the neighborhood was ordinarily quiet before the tumult involving Sladon began in April.
"I've been here 20 years, and this is the most action I've seen," she said.
Jennifer Carey, who also lives in the area, said she had moved to Palm Harbor from Clearwater seeking a more secure place to call home. On Tuesday afternoon, she stood watching men in bright, white hazardous-materials suits and masks preparing to enter her neighbor's house.
"You try to move to a safe neighborhood, but it's really not safe anywhere anymore," she said.
Peter Jamison can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4157.