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Kinsey Couple Charged with Child Endangerment and Meth

By: Erika Kurre
By: Erika Kurre

Six children were at a home in Kinsey when Houston County Sheriff's deputies busted a methamphetamine manufacturing lab.

Five of the children actually live in the home and when deputies entered the house, an adult threw one of the children at them.

Now, the two adults living at the home have admitted to cooking and distributing the drugs

However, that's not all they're being charged with.

For the first time ever, Houston County Sheriff's officers have had to apply the state's Chemical Endangerment of a Child Law, which was enacted in June. This, after what the officers found once they entered a home in the area.

The neighborhood off Walden Drive in Kinsey is mostly quiet, with the exception of two arrests made in a home located on the stretch of road Tuesday night.

"I wouldn't think that crystal meth would be sold out here,” says Kinsey Resident Michelle Mynum. “Or anything would be sold out here. And for them to be throwing babies? No, that's bad. That's really bad."

Chester Latham and Angela Zaleski have been under investigation for the past month and a half for drug manufacturing.

Latham was holding the youngest of the children, a two-year-old, when officers entered the home. He then threw the child at them as a self-defense mechanism.

Commander Don McMullan of the Houston County Sheriff’s Office said, "They were not harmed. Of course, the bad thing about it is the long-term effects are never realized until something happens or shows up. We hope they don't suffer any long-term effects, but we just never can tell."

One of the things officers could see though was evidence that the drug lab has been used several times.

They noticed the ceiling was coated with iodine, a common chemical found in cooking meth.

"The problem with meth is the process it's manufactured. The hazardous chemicals that are used and the way they're cooked amid such dangerous hazardous fumes, the residence was actually stained," explained Commander McMullan.

Since the children were exposed to the dangerous environment, they were immediately taken from the home.

They’re now being taken care of by relatives and the Department of Human Resources.

Latham and Zaleski have been charged with six counts of endangerment of a child. Altogether, they each face a total of nine felony charges.

Both are being held at the Houston County Jail under the maximum bond allowed, which totals $140,000 dollars each.


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