Coffee Co. Meth Bust


At daybreak more than 100 federal, state and local law enforcement officers converged on a three-acre compound in rural Coffee County.

A year long undercover investigation has resulted in a half-dozen drug related arrests. Coffee county sheriff Ben Moates says the arrest of the property owner will mean less crystal meth on the streets of southeast Alabama.

More than a half-dozen old mobile homes spread across a three-acre site off Coffee County Road 616, in the tiny Goodman community.

Federal Drug Enforcement agents, Alabama Bureau of investigations, and the Coffee County sheriff's department converged at the site. They reportedly found operational meth labs, along with the chemicals to make the highly addictive narcotic.

Arrested was the property owner, Michael Catrett, along with four women and two men. They face a host of drug production charges.

"This is the biggest of cases I’ve been associated with in Coffee County. Except for years-ago when the FBI came in to look at a typewriter used in the bombing of a federal judge; this and the number of agencies involved," said Sheriff Ben Moates.

Information tips led authorities to believe the suspects were heavily armed, and there was an arsenal of weapons. They took no chances.

"We tend to be over cautious about what's happening; the most important thing is the safety of the officers and the suspects at the scene," said Cpl. Tracy Nelson.

In the last ten-years, Sheriff Moates says this is the second time an operational drug lab has been found on the property.

"We believe that we have gotten a large amount of the illegal drug off the streets."

At the time of his arrest, Catreet was enrolled in the district attorney's deferred prosecution program.

Catreet is back behind bars at the Coffee County Jail awaiting first appearance.

Local authorities say they are working to get the seven suspects charged within the federal court system.


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