COMBS—An abandoned building in the Combs community was found to be home to a meth lab last week after being searched by the Perry County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office makes regular sweeps of abandoned buildings in the area, Deputy Jerry Burns explained. This particular building and the abandoned church beside it, which are located beside the old Combs post office building, are both known for harboring drug use and other illegal activities.
“Randomly we come and clear the buildings and do walkthroughs and stuff because we catch people in there doing drugs, just trespassing,” Burns said.
According to Burns, on May 2, he and Deputy Kevin Day were performing a routine check on the buildings when they spotted Clifton Plowman, 30, of Hazard, inside one of the buildings. Burns said no one had permission to be inside either of the buildings.
“They’re abandoned, no one is supposed to be in here,” Burns reported.
Burns went on to say that Plowman ran from the deputies back inside the building where they found Elizabeth “Paige” Fugate, 35, of Vicco.
“When we came out I seen him, Clifton Plowman, standing there, when he saw us he took off running,” said Burns. “Deputy Day went through the front and I went through that way and I came around and got them on the inside of the little room in there, him and the female, Elizabeth Fugate.”
Burns stated that deputies recognized Plowman as he was wanted for parole violation.
“When we see them, we’re familiar with Clifton because we know he’s wanted, he’s entered as wanted through probation and parole. We detained him, we handcuffed both of them, because our first instinct we were going to arrest them—him for the warrants and them both for criminal trespassing. As we get them handcuffed we start checking over where the purse is, she gave consent to search her purse and everything and that’s where all the meth making items were,” Burns said.
Burns said officers found a bottle that was taped up that had a substance in it, coffee filters, another bottle that had what appeared to be lithium floating in it, Drano, aluminum foil, fertilizer, an opened ice pack, and several other bottles that had various substances in them.
Burns went on to say that because of the substances found, the Kentucky State Police clean-up crew had to be contacted.
“There’s a bottle that’s Duct taped up that’s real heavy; it’s probably got some Sudafed or salt in it that’s why we called the KSP clean-up crew,” Burns said.
According to Burns, both Plowman and Fugate had active warrants.
“Clifton Plowman has three warrants and he’s entered as wanted by probation and parole, Elizabeth Fugate has one warrant for child support—it’s up in the thousands,” Burns said.
Both Fugate and Plowman were charged with one count each of manufacturing methamphetamine, unlawful possession of meth precursors, and criminal trespassing in the third degree.
Plowman and Fugate are both being held at the Kentucky River Regional Jail, each on a $75,000 cash bond.
Gwendolyn Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter@HazardHerald.