Pinellas sheriff's deputies arrested a man they suspect was cooking methamphetamine in a truck at Gandy Beach.
Deputies noticed the car, a dark-colored Chevy Silverado, about 10:23 p.m. Saturday, parked along the tree line, a report said.
When deputies approached the occupant, 24-year-old Charles J. Tapp, they discovered several needles inside the truck. Tapp also was observed placing items into a bag located in the back seat of the truck, the report said. The deputies wrote that they saw other items indicating the vehicle was possibly being used to cook methamphetamine.
Deputies arrested Tapp, of 1013 26th St. N, on a charge of possessing methamphetamine, a controlled substance, and unlawful possession of the pseudoephedrine and hydrochloric gas, chemicals used to make methamphetamine.
During questioning, Tapp admitted to actively manufacturing methamphetamine, the report said. He was taken to the Pinellas County jail, where he was being held Sunday with bail set at $10,000.
Authorities recently announced they are stepping up nightly patrols of Gandy Beach in response to complaints of late-night partying on the popular stretch of mangroves and sand. Signs have been posted warning visitors. The beach is closed for most activities except fishing after dark.