A Wilmington man has pleaded guilty to meth charges in New Hanover County Superior Court.
Patrick Maples, 53, of Wilmington, pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of possession of immediate precursor chemicals involving methamphetamine, according to a news release from District Attorney Ben David. Superior Court Judge W. Douglas Parsons sentenced Maples to 50-78 months in the N.C. Department of Corrections.
The charges stem from an investigation by Vice and Narcotics detectives with the Wilmington Police Department. On July 31, 2015, drug agents conducted a search of Maples’ home in the 200 block of South 11th Street and found lithium batteries, pseudoephedrine, sulfuric acid, camp fuel and other items consistent with methamphetamine production.
There was also complaints from neighbors that a smell of chemicals was emitting from Maples’ residence, David said.
“The manufacture of methamphetamine will not be tolerated in this community,” David said.
Narcotics detectives with the Wilmington Police Department investigated the case and agents from the State Bureau of Investigation assisted with the laboratory seizure efforts.
“This case is a great example of how an individual can receive an extensive active sentence for participating in the methamphetamine manufacturing process even if no meth is actually recovered. Methamphetamine labs are inherently dangerous, and I commend officers from both the Wilmington Police Department and State Bureau of Investigation for keeping the public safe by shutting down this operation,” Assistant District Attorney Brad Matthews said.
Matthews handled the prosecution of this case for the state. Maples was represented by Attorney James Rutherford.