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A man and woman staying at the Manatee Springs Motel were arrested by Chiefland police Wednesday when, according to police, the two were found to be making methamphetamine.
"I got two anonymous calls," a manager at the hotel said Friday. The first call was unintelligible, she said. "I says, 'When you calm down, call me back.'"
Then the woman called back and said, "What I'm trying to tell you is they're making dope!"
"I said, 'Oh, really? I guess we have to have that checked in to.' "
The manager said she told a co-worker that there was a problem down at room No. 117, which, since the Saturday before, had a "Do not disturb" notice on the door.
Chiefland police were promptly alerted.
"We found out they had cooked that stuff five times in that room," she said.
Danny Emrich, 50, and Carrie Lynn Hyatt, 41, both known to take up residence in and around the Chiefland area, according to police, were both arrested on multiple charges of possession of meth with intent to sell, manufacture and deliver, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
CPD Lt. Jay Bolton said Friday that an officer accompanied the manager to the room where the couple were staying.
The manager said she knocked on the door and asked if the couple needed fresh linens. Emrich opened the door and was greeted by the manager and the officer.
Bolton said the officer asked if Emrich would come out and show identification. He did, and it was discovered that Emrich already had an outstanding warrant for petit theft. When he was searched, according to Bolton, a quantity of meth was found in his pocket.
Emrich had also left the door ajar. Bolton said he could see hot plates, jars, lighter fluid and coffee filters, which are tools of the trade in meth production. And then there was the smell. It's a hard thing to describe, Bolton said, but, "When you smell it, you instantly recognize it."
Hyatt, according to Bolton, was in the bathroom, refusing to come out.
A female officer went in to retrieve Hyatt, who Bolton said gave permission to search the room.
Emrich and Hyatt were taken to the Levy County Jail. Emrich is being held on a $122,000 bond. Hyatt's bond has been set at $95,000.
The chemicals and drugs discovered in the room were removed by a special team, Bolton said.
Room No. 117 is condemned for the time being. The City of Chiefland has placed notices on it, as well as nearby rooms 116 and 118.
The manager, wishing not to be named, said the city, among other things, is requiring that room No. 117 be stripped of its carpet, drapes and linens. All three rooms, including the items within, will have to be decontaminated, as well, she said.
The manager, who has worked at the motel since 1999, said Wednesday's experience was a first for her.
"I've had people die and go on the ambulance," she said, "but this part, no, I've never had it happen to me."