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Sheriff Busts Meth Lab in Palm Coast’s R-Section, Arresting Same Suspect Twice in 24 Hours

| September 22, 2013

From left, Amber Troha, Michael Marsh and Virdell Myers.

From left, Amber Troha, Michael Marsh and Virdell Myers.

Michael Lee Marsh, a 30-year-old resident of 6 Raeitan Way in Palm Coast, has been arrested several times before, but never twice in less than 24 hours, as he was Friday, and again early Saturday morning—the first time for allegedly running a meth lab at the Raeitan Way address, the second time for drug possession and loitering. In the interim, he had posted $5,500 bond on the Friday arrest.

He was arrested again with two other people—Amber Troha, 19, also of 6 Raeitan Way, and Virdell Myers, 28, of 925 Marion St. in Daytona Beach—near 37 Leaver Drive in Palm Coast at around 4 a.m. Saturday. Marsh again swiftly bonded out.

A cop had been dispatched to the Leaver Drive address because of a suspicious vehicle early Saturday morning. When the cop got there, he saw a beige 2007 Mercury that had been parked in the driveway make a maneuver to leave. The cop knew that the house at that address is a vacant, bank-owned property. He saw three people in the car, and executed a traffic stop.

“The occupants all appeared to be nervous and kept moving their hands out of view,” the three individuals’ arrest reports state. The cop observed loose blue and green tablets in plain view on the center console. The pills were later determined to be 60mg-Cymbalta, an anti-anxiety drug available only by prescription.

Myers consented to a pat-down, according to the arrest report, and said he had a pocket knife on him. As a cop retrieved it, a small bag allegedly containing various pills, also later determined to be anti-anxiety prescription pills, were found, along with acetaminophen and hydrocodone. When Marsh was asked to step out of the car, a hypodermic needle was observed in the door panel. He, too, said he had a pocket knife after he consented to a pat-down. His arrest report also notes that he consented to have his pockets emptied. When Troha was searched, nothing was found on her. But a metal spoon with alleged drug residue was found in the car in a purse, along with a hypodermic needle, a vial with white residue and a coffee filter with brown residue, leading to Troha’s arrest.

None of the individuals were able to produce prescriptions for the pills. Vidrell was on probation. All three were booked–Troha for the first time, Myers for the fourth time since 2010 (in Flagler County), and Marsh for the sixth time.

Marsh posted $1,500 bond on the Saturday charges and was released. Troha was still in jail Sunday afternoon, on $1,500 bond, according to the jail’s log, as was Myers, who was being held on $2,250 bond on the prescription drug possession charges, and on no bond on the probation violation charge. His previous arrests were related to similar charges—prescription-drug possession as well as a previous probation violation.

At 12:01 p.m. Friday, a sheriff’s release states, investigators and the Flagler County Sheriff’s SWAT teams served a warrant at the Raetian Way address following an investigation into an alleged methamphetamine operation there.

Cops removed five people and temporarily detained them as two cops—a corporal and an investigator—searched within, wearing breathing masks. They discovered evidence of a meth lab in a bedroom in the 1,800-square-foot home, which is rented out by an owner who lives in California.

The evidence discovered is as follows, according to Marsh’s arrest report: “A plastic bottle (one pot), plastic tubing (containing white substance), two bottles of muriatic acid, syringe, multiple containers with lids, spoons, black scale, glass jar with a white residue (Field tested positive for Methamphetamine), filters, light bulb, spoon.”

Marsh was one of the five individuals being detained as the house was being searched. He was arrested and charged with manufacturing or possessing methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked at the Flagler County jail at 4:50 p.m. but soon bonded out. (He would be booked again at 6:32 a.m. the next day.)

Personnel from Flagler County Fire-Rescue and the Palm Coast Fire Department took up positions in the area before the warrant was executed, in case something went wrong (local first responders, including the SWAT team, train for just this sort of eventuality) while the county’s Fire Flight emergency helicopter circled above, in case a pursuit was been triggered–or a health emergency required a quick evacuation.

Once the scene was secured, the two cops who’d gone in to investigate and the five individuals who were in the home were decontaminated, the sheriff’s release states.

“Our investigators followed up on information they received and were able to shut this operation down,” Sheriff Jim Manfre said. “It’s my belief that similar operations exist in our county and as we identify them, we will be moving in to shut them down and arrest those involved in the operation.”

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19 Responses for “Sheriff Busts Meth Lab in Palm Coast’s R-Section, Arresting Same Suspect Twice in 24 Hours”

  1. Liana G says:

    It’s interesting how events have a funny way of occurring in communities where one would think should be safe. When I lived in GA, our next door neighbor was a FBI profiler. Yet, according to our neighbor, our house which was right next door to theirs was the former residence of a person who owned and operated a strip club and was suspected of illegal drug activities. In this case, our house was one of only three houses on a large cul-de-sac with lots of designated green space/woods. Easy for such activities to be carried out even with an FBI profiler as a neighbor. If memory serves me right, Leaver Drive is very crowded with the houses practically piling atop one another. One would think this would make it very difficult for such activities to go unnoticed…sad that the times has led to this. Maybe PC needs stop and frisk to prevent the crime before it occurs.

    • Anonymous says:

      i know of two homes in indian trails on the same road that need to be checked out before they blow a bunch of innocent kids up

    • J. says:

      “Stop and frisk”…unlawful. Period. If they try that and pull it on me, i WILL sue on violations of the 4th amendment, unlawful search and/or seizure.

  2. A.S.F. says:

    Why are bonds set so low for these types of arrests? A Meth lab can blow up a whole neighborhood!

    • Genie says:

      @ ASF, Good point.

      Does anybody know why, with this type of crime and repeated arrests, the bond was so low? What’s it going to take for them to keep him?

      Too many repeat offenders here and this man is accelerating his crimes.

    • Nancy N. says:

      Yeah, it took me $70k to bond my husband out on a traffic offense in St John’s but down here you can have a big time meth bust and get out on $5500? Somewhere in between those two extremes lies sanity.

  3. meth says:

    is a terrible drug. terrible it has hit our community and is by far the worse drug, simply bc, the users, can make their own drug…once in their memory it cannot be erased…

  4. Sherry Epley says:

    This is a perfect example of what we are sorely missing in Florida. These people are “drug addicted”. . . they need mandatory, thorough drug “resident/incarcerated” rehabilitation and mental treatment. BUT. . . we do NOT have those kinds of services in our state! Our lack of public mental treatment and drug rehabilitation services is criminal! Here the addicted are just labeled “scum of the earth” and eventually thrown in prison as soon as they commit a crime that carries a sentence heavy enough to keep them safely away from society. . . at great tax payer expense.

    Let’s just hope they don’t move up from pocket knives to very easily acquired automatic weapons, and create a very real danger to our community. . . while their repeated arrests and extremely light bail amounts seem to be completely ineffective.

    Our legislature, sheriff and judges doing the same thing again and again, while expecting a different result is where the INSANITY lies!

  5. cane fan says:

    Typical for palm coast…this used to be a great county to live in. The youth out there is out of control. Start spanking your kids when they are young and we can put a stop to crap lime this in time. Its not child abuse .we need to put up a fence and run everyone out that wasnt born here! Sound familiar?

  6. Marissa says:

    I look at all three pictures and I see “hopelessness”. When people are hopeless some turn to drugs for escapism. The picture is a dichotomy and a study of what befalls our community, our City and our State. Treat the disease and help the dignity and self esteem of lives worth saving. The adage, “There go I but for the grace of God.” We close our eyes and want them kept in jail and to never be let out again. They are the scourge of society until it’s your child? We are our brothers keeper. Cure the disease and save a soul today.

  7. Geezer says:

    My faqvorite show, Breaking Bad, is nearing its end.
    There’s one sequel in the works: “Better Call Saul.”

    A second spinoff from lovely Palm Coast: “BREAKING STUPID.”
    To be filmed right here in the “R” section.

  8. Outsider says:

    I used to live a few houses down fron 37 Leaver. I didn’t like the direction Palm Coast was headed, so we moved out to the country, only to have a synthetic pot bust just up the road. This stuff is everywhere.

  9. Genie says:

    The problem here is not that these people cannot be helped. The money is just too good to stop doing this and get a real job.

    That is going to be tough to stop.

  10. What do I know says:

    Setting such low bonds for this serious of a crime makes it look like the law is happy to take a few bucks to let them go free to do more damage in the community. This is outrageous.

  11. rhweir says:

    Did a quick check on property appraiser website for ownership of the house listed as bank owned on Leaver, owned by a married couple in Brooklyn, NY. The Raeitan Way home is owned by a man in Santa Monica, Ca. Good job by the sheriff in stopping this activity. Both homes are worth over a $100k less than the owners went into debt over less than 10 years ago. We need to start making these absentee landlords and people who walk on their homes responsible for what happens after they leave the properties behind. You bought, you live in it and limit how many homes can be rented in an area would be a start. The Leaver home appears to be on the old golf course. I have called the sheriff numerous times over activity on the course property and they have been responsive. The Grand Club is not maintaining that property now. They need to rehab, open it and maintain it. If they cannot afford to do that, put it on the marker at a bargain price and allow someone else who can afford to open and maintain it take over. At the very least, demolish those old restrooms that are havens for drug activity and the homeless. Oh, can cut the dang grass! There are weeds behind our house at least 6 feet tall. Talk about tinder for wild fires!

  12. Rob. says:

    i have lived in palm coast for about 6 years now, i have done the drugs everyone on here has talked about i have recoverd by the people who supported me, and i think everyone can be clean and happy and have a great wonderful life they just got to have the love and support from others. i personally know that girl amber and she is the kindest girl i know and its just bad people, and decisions she made that got her where she is now. EVERYONE can change

  13. Alexis says:

    Why wasn’t the meth blue?

  14. floridagirl says:

    it wasnt smurf meth…

  15. Disapointed in PC says:

    As being a retired NYC Police officer it offends me that 90% of these crimes happen in rental properties, Almost every city in the United states have adopted the forfiture law that allows the local government to seize the homes, cars and any other asetts as an ongoing criminal enterprise. These properties are then sold off and the money is used for more law enforcement wich in turn can lower the portion of you tax bill. Can anyone give me an answer why this is not being used ? Landlords should be held responsible , get involved or lose your investment !

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