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Posted: 4:51 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, 2012
By Kathryn Burcham
UNION COUNTY, N.C. —
A surprise visit from a probation officer uncovered an active meth lab in Union County, police said.
Police said the probation officer was visiting James Robinette Jr. at his condo on Round Table Road in Monroe Tuesday night when the officer spotted a meth cook under way.
Police evacuated nearby condos and called in SBI agents to assist with dismantling the lab and decontaminating the area.
"We had noticed the traffic in and out of there before, but we tried to mind our own business," said neighbor Joyce Wilson.
But Wilson and other residents told Eyewitness News they had worried about Robinette long before the meth lab was uncovered.
Robinette is a registered sex offender who pleaded guilty to 11 counts of indecent liberties with a minor, after he molested a child in 2009.
Robinette had just been sentenced in April of this year to a suspended sentence and 36 months of probation, which is why the probation officer was paying him a visit Tuesday night.
Police said Robinette lived in the home with his wife, his adult daughter and his mother, but detectives believe only his wife, Eve Rankin, knew about the drugs.
Robinette and Rankin are now booked into the Union County Jail.
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