Two Arrested in Connection with Meth Lab in Echols County

[UPDATE] -- Echols County, Ga. February 20, 2012 --

Sheriff Randy Courson told WCTV that one of the suspects, Kenneth Keen, tried to escape after being taken into custody.

He said "Mr. Keen, when he was in the back of the patrol car, he had a hidden handcuff key on his possession. He attempted to use the key to try and undo his cuffs for a possible escape attempt, which the deputies intercepted and it ended up being a defective key."

Both suspects are being held at the Lowndes County Jail.

-- Echols County, Ga. February 20, 2012 --
[Media Release from Echols County Sheriff's Office]
On 02/18/2012 at approximately 10:56 P.M., deputies from the Echols County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Sandlin residence located at 1426 Sardis Church Road after receiving information of possible methamphetamine being manufactured there.

Upon arrival deputies observed Joseph Sandlin, 30 of Lake Park and Kenneth Keen, 54 of Lakeland at the rear of the residence trying to burn something. Upon initial contact and after receiving verbal consent to search from Sandlin; deputies noticed that Sandlin and Keen were trying to burn a meth lab and all of its components. Deputies retrieved the evidence from the fire as well as some finished Methamphetamine product, which was wrapped in paper on the ground near the spot where both individuals were standing. After an initial search of Keen, he produced and dropped a hollowed out pen from his pocket which Keen later admitted was used for smoking Meth. Keen reached down and grabbed the pen before deputies could get it and threw it into the fire. Both Keen and Sandlin were taken into custody. Both individuals admitted to snorting and smoking meth earlier. While in custody Keen retrieved a hidden hand cuff key from his possession and attempted to use it to unlock his handcuffs for a possible escape attempt. Deputies were able to retrieve the defective key from Keen. Both Sandlin and Keen were charged with felony manufacturing of methamphetamine, and felony possession of methamphetamine. Keen was charged additionally with destruction and tampering with evidence.

Sheriff Randy Courson stated that this is about the fourth time in the past four months in which they have responded to this particular residence for methamphetamine activity, which has resulted in several arrest. Sheriff Courson stated “We will continue to be aggressive in addressing and combating these types of calls.” Courson also credits the calls coming in from concerned citizens stating, “This is a joint effort between the Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of this community in an attempt to clean up these areas. A lot of what we deal with is people who are not even from the county, but who come from elsewhere to try and produce this poison in our backyard and we just won’t stand for it.”

Anyone with any information of illegal activity is encouraged to call the Echols County Sheriff’s Office at 229-559-5603. You may remain anonymous.


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  • by Daughter Location: Lanier on Feb 25, 2012 at 05:58 PM
    No what i mean is u step up but like i said i know my father was doing good and what u think does not matter so enough of u is enough
    And yeah i am sure he hurt alot of peoples feelings cause he is man enough to tell u how he feels


  • by daughter Location: lainer on Feb 22, 2012 at 05:40 PM
    I wish people would keep thier mouths shut. This happens to be my father yes I said my father he is not a bad guy he has just made some wrong chices in his like and to the person that knows him some well to say he has hurt many familes why dont you step up and besides that my father has been doing well he has been clean for a while have you never heard being at the wrong place at yhe wrong time. and better yet he is loved by many and hated by many but guess what i am to and so are you. so if what you have to say is negative dont say it.
    • reply
      by Really on Feb 23, 2012 at 06:00 PM in reply to daughter
      He may be a father, but truth hurts.....and yes he hurt families in the past! Step up, he should have done that!
  • by REALLY on Feb 21, 2012 at 08:29 PM
    WOW....Keen busted finally! Ummmm he has hurt families for well over 25 years and counting. I am a witness to his hurt. He deserves what is coming to him! Learn from your mistakes, and quit making them.....such idiots!
  • by family Location: clyattville on Feb 21, 2012 at 08:01 PM
    agree w the comment below the "keen" guy as u refer to him, does have a family. Addiction is a problem yes but the wife, children, grandchildren etc. that this man has suffers from his addiction & his arrest. yes we agree hes better off in jail and off the drugs, but what abt his grand daughter wanting to know where there papa is? i mean seriously have sympathy in your hearts for a situation, its not just the addict thats suffers on this its his family also? Open your hearts to these people and pray that while incarserated this man comes out rehabilitated and can once again be drug free and enjoy his family. everyone wants to bash someone but what if this was one of your family members? would you appreciate comments like this??
    • reply
      by officer on Feb 21, 2012 at 10:08 PM in reply to family
      you are one tough or crazy woman to stick with a meth abuser all these years.
  • by t jackson Location: lanier on Feb 21, 2012 at 02:49 PM
    i know keen beleive it or not he is 12 years old.
  • by dog Location: gone on Feb 21, 2012 at 01:47 PM
    Are these Before and After Photos of the Same Meth user?
  • by Concerned Location: Valdosta on Feb 21, 2012 at 11:13 AM
    What else is there to do in S. GA? Right-wingers have sent all the jobs overseas for the sake of profits and stockholder shares. Please don't send the Meth jobs overseas too!
  • by anonymous on Feb 21, 2012 at 06:16 AM
    This is southern Georgia's main industry.
    • reply
      by we are winning this drug war on Feb 21, 2012 at 07:48 PM in reply to anonymous
      no southern ga's main industry is prisions and probation. a cool 2 billion a year.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 21, 2012 at 06:14 AM
    Wow ! look at these redneck back woods hick thugs, they need to lock them up away from our children and throw away the key!!!
  • by Surly Location: Grrr on Feb 20, 2012 at 05:55 PM
    I think we should start locking these guys in individual cells stocked with a 5 gallon bucket full of their favorite product. Should be "problem solved" in short order...
    • reply
      by concerned in Madison on Feb 21, 2012 at 02:29 AM in reply to Surly
      I agree with Surly...we could control this problem for pennies on the dollar once we decide we can't legislate it into omission. Perhaps take an old prison and build a reverse 'field of dreams', provide a little state made 'crank' and invite them in. They'd come...they'd stay. We would know where they are. The problem will never be solved, with current methods or not. The addiction is too great.
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