Law enforcement officers in Caldwell County say they were tipped off to a possible meth lab by purchases of ephedrine-containing products and meth-making paraphernalia in the trash of a local man. That man, Marc Hodges, was on a trip to Cozumel, Mexico with his girlfriend when police secured a warrant to search his home and found additional evidence that he was manufacturing meth.
Based on the results of the search, Hodges was greeted on the plane with his own personal welcoming committee: a Federal Marshal with a warrant for his arrest. Hodges now faces two felony drug charges of making meth and having chemicals that can be used to make meth as well as maintaining his home as a meth lab.
According to the U.S. Supreme Court, once trash is thrown out, law enforcement can search it without a warrant. In this instance, the suspected meth-maker lived in the Winter Hill Court Apartments in Hudson; presumably police searched his trash after he deposited it in whatever common area was designated for resident trash removal.
The North Carolina Methamphetamine Prevention Act made placed restrictions on the sale of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine in this state. It must be kept behind the counter and can only be sold in sheets with individually wrapped pills or capsules. You must be at least 18 to purchase the meth-precursor ingredient without a prescription.
The state limits the quantity of pseudoephedrine- or ephedrine-containing products to 3.6 grams per day and no more than 9 grams in a 30-day period, unless an exception applies. Sales of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine must be logged in the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx). Retailers can be charged with a misdemeanor for failing to comply with sales restrictions on these meth-precursor products.
Source: The Charlotte Observer, "Mexican vacation ends with arrest at Charlotte airport," April 10, 2013