Officers bust Lincoln County meth lab by arriving in borrowed church bus

There are 20 comments on the Sep 10, 2013, Charleston Daily Mail story titled Officers bust Lincoln County meth lab by arriving in borrowed church bus. In it, Charleston Daily Mail reports that:

Law enforcement officers surprised operators of a methamphetamine lab in Lincoln County by descending upon the area in a borrowed church bus.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Charleston Daily Mail.

Kevin

New York, NY

#26 Sep 29, 2013
Sounds like maybe a couple church members are mad because their profits got cut off.
curious

West Hamlin, WV

#27 Sep 29, 2013
How so?
I Know

Alexandria, VA

#28 Sep 29, 2013
Wow, not shocked. Logan Mingo Lincoln . All of them are the worse county"s for drugs now.
1 post removed
This is the way it is

Austin, TX

#30 Sep 30, 2013
Hero wrote:
I think this man is a hero. If I ever meet him, I will tell him so. Sometimes, "rules" are broken for a good cause, i.e., the Civil Rights movement, and in many other historical cases. Jesus himself seems to have unsettled those who did not understand what He offered; they missed His message and the entire reason for His arrival on earth. Rather than see the big picture, many Jews cited laws and rules and even Scripture to refute Him. In their well-intentioned but misguided response, they missed the point. God's law as it really is trumps any of the "rules" cited by "This is the way it is" who posted above. When you read God's Word and compare it to the above post, the choice is clear. Actually, it seems the above poster has a problem with Chris Wilkinson and is placing this poor old preacher on the cross as a way of getting to the mayor. Sad. I'm sure the preacher is at peace knowing that what he did was right. He's a hero.
Slapping him on the back is your prerogative, have at it.

I have no personal animus toward Chris Wilkinson. What I base my opinion on is the knowledge that he was as bad as any of the druggies in past times. Is likely, at least morally, unfit to be a police figure. Not to mention the blatant disregard for the statutory requirements of the West Virginia code prohibiting a Mayor from acting as the police chief.

I object to the circus atmosphere he has created in traveling through or conducting business in Hamlin. For no good reason other than his ego.

As far as the "raid" issue, he acted improperly in hijacking church property. You have to ask yourself if other assets could have been used and accomplished the same result. The answer is clearly yes and without the attendant liability his way created.

The Lincoln Journal article is specific in their opinion that Chris suffers a communications problem in both the town duties and that of his prior role as pastor on the Morningstar Church. The fact that one or more of the members were reluctant to speak out for fear he would seek retribution (using his Hamlin office or fellowship with law enforcement) against them. Sadly thuggery is a common and well documented fact of Lincoln County law enforcement as well as State law enforcement in Lincoln County. That fear alone should give pause to positive opinions of Chris. That individual has contact with school age children which is another reason for concern.

The talk of a youth ministry is just that, talk.

Pat him on the back, but at some point you may realize you need to wash your hands.

1 post removed
anonymous

West Hamlin, WV

#32 Sep 30, 2013
Kill The Druggies wrote:
<quoted text>
Hey Dumb Shut. Obviously, the life-long meth you've been using has completely fried your worthless brain. Go back to your trailer park and get high until you die! RLMFAO
what's a dumb shut?

actually, as much of a psychonaut as i am, i'll not touch crank. i won't do crack either. i'm not much of an upper kind of guy and really prefer my downers, but mostly i just smoke cannabis. i've also never lived in a trailer park.

lets compare drug abuse and healthcare statistics with portagul and see who comes out on top eh? oh, wait, you can't even spell sh­­i­t so i can't expect you to keep up with global politics.
anonymous

West Hamlin, WV

#33 Sep 30, 2013
Hero wrote:
I think this man is a hero. If I ever meet him, I will tell him so. Sometimes, "rules" are broken for a good cause, i.e., the Civil Rights movement, and in many other historical cases. Jesus himself seems to have unsettled those who did not understand what He offered; they missed His message and the entire reason for His arrival on earth. Rather than see the big picture, many Jews cited laws and rules and even Scripture to refute Him. In their well-intentioned but misguided response, they missed the point. God's law as it really is trumps any of the "rules" cited by "This is the way it is" who posted above. When you read God's Word and compare it to the above post, the choice is clear. Actually, it seems the above poster has a problem with Chris Wilkinson and is placing this poor old preacher on the cross as a way of getting to the mayor. Sad. I'm sure the preacher is at peace knowing that what he did was right. He's a hero.
did you really just compare this guy stealing the church bus (and no, you can't say borrow, HE DID NOT HAVE THE CHURCH'S PERMISSION, this makes it stealing) to the fu­cking civil rights movement?????

also, what does this have to do with god or religion? this is a legal situation, and in this case, chris broke the law and the hamlin pd where accomplices.

as i've pointed out MANY times before, this hard handed stance against drugs s­h­it doesn't work. so he got a few meth makers off the streets? so what problem did he solve exactly? he only opened up more holes for some neophyte meth maker to come in and blow himself up because he doesn't know what he's doing. lol, it was probably just a drop in the ocean anyway, everybody that lives in lc and is active in the lc drug scene knows that meth is the new moonshine, everybody and there grandma are making the sh­it in lc.

i don't condone the use of meth, i've never used it and refuse, but i can't tell somebody else that they can't and i certainly don't condone swat style raids. these people are sick, clinically speaking, and must be treated as such, not as a criminal. this man, however, not only broke the law by using the bus without permission but has made it so that law abiding citizens go out of their way to avoid hamlin so as to not be harassed by the police. i cannot comment on wv state code as to whether or not a mayor can be the police chief, but i do know that a big part of his pulpit schtick is that he was once a "horrible drug user and alcoholic with a checkered past" so i fail to see how he could legally qualify for either position unless the man is a fraud.
observation

West Hamlin, WV

#34 Sep 30, 2013
I'm curious why the Lincoln Journal would choose to reveal HOW the bus was used at all. This would have made a great cover again and again, if the Journal would have kept it hidden from the public. The paper should have just covered the arrests and left the details concerning the bus alone. Not because I think the preacher did anything wrong -- I agree with his actions -- but because it was a great cover that is now spoiled.
more logic

West Hamlin, WV

#35 Sep 30, 2013
Yep, sometimes you break the rules to get the right result -- just like folks did during the civil rights movement. Yes, he certainly did borrow the bus -- if he would have stolen it, it would have not been returned. This has everything to do with God -- it's about helping rid this community of drugs. You have to round up each druggie, one at a time. This was one step in the right direction. You are just trying to make excuses for dopies. DID YOU SERIOUSLY COMPARE METH TO FUCKING MOONSHINE??????? Instead of making excuses for the dopies, who break the law daily with their awful habits while also destroying our communities, you need to consider what they do instead of focusing on the so-called illegalities of the mayor. I think we should start referring to the man as "Lincoln County's mayor," not just "Hamlin's mayor." He's a real hero.
anonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
did you really just compare this guy stealing the church bus (and no, you can't say borrow, HE DID NOT HAVE THE CHURCH'S PERMISSION, this makes it stealing) to the fu­cking civil rights movement?????
also, what does this have to do with god or religion? this is a legal situation, and in this case, chris broke the law and the hamlin pd where accomplices.
as i've pointed out MANY times before, this hard handed stance against drugs s­h­it doesn't work. so he got a few meth makers off the streets? so what problem did he solve exactly? he only opened up more holes for some neophyte meth maker to come in and blow himself up because he doesn't know what he's doing. lol, it was probably just a drop in the ocean anyway, everybody that lives in lc and is active in the lc drug scene knows that meth is the new moonshine, everybody and there grandma are making the sh­it in lc.
i don't condone the use of meth, i've never used it and refuse, but i can't tell somebody else that they can't and i certainly don't condone swat style raids. these people are sick, clinically speaking, and must be treated as such, not as a criminal. this man, however, not only broke the law by using the bus without permission but has made it so that law abiding citizens go out of their way to avoid hamlin so as to not be harassed by the police. i cannot comment on wv state code as to whether or not a mayor can be the police chief, but i do know that a big part of his pulpit schtick is that he was once a "horrible drug user and alcoholic with a checkered past" so i fail to see how he could legally qualify for either position unless the man is a fraud.
Freedom of the press

Dallas, TX

#36 Sep 30, 2013
observation wrote:
I'm curious why the Lincoln Journal would choose to reveal HOW the bus was used at all. This would have made a great cover again and again, if the Journal would have kept it hidden from the public. The paper should have just covered the arrests and left the details concerning the bus alone. Not because I think the preacher did anything wrong -- I agree with his actions -- but because it was a great cover that is now spoiled.
The police report and the charging documents are public information. The newspaper would be grossly irresponsible to omit on request any fact of the arrest. This newspaper is way too friendly in protecting law enforcement anyway. Sunlight is a wonderful disinfectant to keep government honest. It is that little document called the constitution.

BTW criminals communicate. Even if the newspaper had suppressed the facts the criminal network would have known.

The "cover" of a church bus twenty five miles away from it's home at a time when there is no church service is not much of a cover. This is a case of dumb and dumber. The police for thinking it would be a cover and the criminals for not picking up on it. Thankfully the meth lab folk were the dumber of the two in the equation. The scheme was good but not brilliant. On the other hand a little ingenuity to choose an ambulance, a highway department dump truck, or other similar vehicle could provide a cover. Incidentally, all of those entities that have budget responsibility and liability will have the same concerns that the Morningstar board did.
Freedom of the press

Dallas, TX

#37 Sep 30, 2013
more logic wrote:
Yep, sometimes you break the rules to get the right result -- just like folks did during the civil rights movement. Yes, he certainly did borrow the bus -- if he would have stolen it, it would have not been returned. This has everything to do with God -- it's about helping rid this community of drugs. You have to round up each druggie, one at a time. This was one step in the right direction. You are just trying to make excuses for dopies. DID YOU SERIOUSLY COMPARE METH TO FUCKING MOONSHINE??????? Instead of making excuses for the dopies, who break the law daily with their awful habits while also destroying our communities, you need to consider what they do instead of focusing on the so-called illegalities of the mayor. I think we should start referring to the man as "Lincoln County's mayor," not just "Hamlin's mayor." He's a real hero.
<quoted text>
The correct term would be Lincoln County's embarrassment. The man has more skeletons in his closet than a haunted house.
more wisdom offered

West Hamlin, WV

#38 Sep 30, 2013
The reporting of HOW the arrests were made -- while legally justified -- was really an unnecessary detail that has (somehow) distracted some people from the point of the matter: druggies were arrested. It's a good thing. If you read up on the legal aspects of situations like this, you will find that the police would have been liable for any damage to the vehicle. It's not as if they didn't think this thing through. I suggest the poster from "Dallas, TX," take on the CIA and FBI and all of their undercover operations as well. You should be on the front line in the War on Terror. Wait. No. We would have no hope of actually catching anyone because we might have to bend a rule here or there. The good people of Lincoln County are DELIGHTED to see the druggies carted away. The police and mayor were very smart to do this the way they did. Only in a backward county like this would someone actually protest it.
Freedom of the press wrote:
<quoted text>
The police report and the charging documents are public information. The newspaper would be grossly irresponsible to omit on request any fact of the arrest. This newspaper is way too friendly in protecting law enforcement anyway. Sunlight is a wonderful disinfectant to keep government honest. It is that little document called the constitution.
BTW criminals communicate. Even if the newspaper had suppressed the facts the criminal network would have known.
The "cover" of a church bus twenty five miles away from it's home at a time when there is no church service is not much of a cover. This is a case of dumb and dumber. The police for thinking it would be a cover and the criminals for not picking up on it. Thankfully the meth lab folk were the dumber of the two in the equation. The scheme was good but not brilliant. On the other hand a little ingenuity to choose an ambulance, a highway department dump truck, or other similar vehicle could provide a cover. Incidentally, all of those entities that have budget responsibility and liability will have the same concerns that the Morningstar board did.
This is the way it is

Austin, TX

#39 Oct 1, 2013
more wisdom offered wrote:
The reporting of HOW the arrests were made -- while legally justified -- was really an unnecessary detail that has (somehow) distracted some people from the point of the matter: druggies were arrested. It's a good thing. If you read up on the legal aspects of situations like this, you will find that the police would have been liable for any damage to the vehicle. It's not as if they didn't think this thing through. I suggest the poster from "Dallas, TX," take on the CIA and FBI and all of their undercover operations as well. You should be on the front line in the War on Terror. Wait. No. We would have no hope of actually catching anyone because we might have to bend a rule here or there. The good people of Lincoln County are DELIGHTED to see the druggies carted away. The police and mayor were very smart to do this the way they did. Only in a backward county like this would someone actually protest it.
<quoted text>
The suggestion of "wisdom" is comical.

The probability that the church would have been made whole is doubtful given the circumstance that the preacher did not have legal authority to "loan" the bus. Recovery is through the Court of Claims which is a laborious process and is one of seeking recovery from an entity that has Sovereign Immunity.

These two drug arrests are but a drop in the bucket to the county wide problem. Hopefully the prosecutor will take it seriously and not wimp out which he is prone to do. But, you can't blame law enforcement folks for the system failings. They deserve credit for doing their part.

I don't think we should encourage Chrissy's ego by making him the unofficial countywide drug enforcement guru. He was elected by the people of Hamlin by less than ten votes and that should be the limit of his enforcement responsibility. He has bigger aspirations but a past that won't let him go there.

Even more wisdom

West Hamlin, WV

#40 Oct 1, 2013
Two things that are clear:

1. The above poster clearly has a long-standing and deep-seated dislike of and vendetta toward this man, even at the expense of his good works in battling the county drug problem. In short, no matter what this man does, the above poster will attack, attack, attack. Sadly, distracting from the good work, as evidenced here.

2. The above poster will always -- ALWAYS -- return to this post and respond...and most definitely shall seek to have the last word. That is the extent of his contempt for this poor man.

God bless you, Lincoln County's mayor. You are a hero.
This is the way it is

Austin, TX

#41 Oct 1, 2013
Even more wisdom wrote:
Two things that are clear:
1. The above poster clearly has a long-standing and deep-seated dislike of and vendetta toward this man, even at the expense of his good works in battling the county drug problem. In short, no matter what this man does, the above poster will attack, attack, attack. Sadly, distracting from the good work, as evidenced here.
2. The above poster will always -- ALWAYS -- return to this post and respond...and most definitely shall seek to have the last word. That is the extent of his contempt for this poor man.
God bless you, Lincoln County's mayor. You are a hero.
I do have knowledge of Chris's long standing misconduct over the years and that does influence my opinion because (and only because) he continues to do the same things. He is not the best that Hamlin has to offer as Mayor and regularly places that town in legal jeopardy because of his ignorance, stupidity and willful acts in the way he conducts the town's affairs. Ignorance means the lack of information and stupidity when you have the information and fail to use it. He is guilty on both counts.

Above all else, when he became aware he had violated the trust of his congregation he did not apologize. His term as pastor did not end well for him or the congregation. His term as mayor will not end well for him or the town of Hamlin. Only he can change that.

For your consideration the definition of wisdom:

"knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight."

The last word is not important here. Chris has taken the hit for his misconduct at the Church. The folks were arrested and perhaps if the court system follows through some good has come from it.

Most of what you have had to say falls into the "hopey, changey" rhetoric. That ain't working to well these days.
wisdom offered for free

West Hamlin, WV

#42 Oct 1, 2013
If the myor did anything ILLEGAL, as some suggest here, let's see if he is investigated or arrested. Otherwise, we can conclude that in fact, as has been claimed here repeatedly, he did nothing ILLEGAL. He did not, as has been asserted here, steal anything. As the Journal article says, the vehicle was "borrowed." The Journal, in its wisdom to offer the details of the story also framed it correctly. If you read WV law, you will see that law enforcement in fact has every right to confiscate a private vehicle ON THE SPOT and use it as they see fit (it is rarely done, but it is legal). Furthermore, as long as they have said vehicle they are liable for it and/or any damage done to/by it. If we remove the mayor from the equation, and I believe that an agenda against mayor is the reason some choose to attack the operation itself, there is no motive on the part of anyone to discredit the operation. The mayor is a hero and, like it or not, whether he won by ten votes or 1000, he IS the mayor.
wisdom offered for free

West Hamlin, WV

#43 Oct 1, 2013
If the mayor did anything ILLEGAL, as some suggest here, let's see if he is investigated or arrested. Otherwise, we can conclude that in fact, as has been claimed here repeatedly, he did nothing ILLEGAL. He did not, as has been asserted here, steal anything. As the Journal article says, the vehicle was "borrowed." The Journal, in its wisdom to offer the details of the story also framed it correctly. If you read WV law, you will see that law enforcement in fact has every right to confiscate a private vehicle ON THE SPOT and use it as they see fit (it is rarely done, but it is legal). Furthermore, as long as they have said vehicle they are liable for it and/or any damage done to/by it. If we remove the mayor from the equation, and I believe that an agenda against mayor is the reason some choose to attack the operation itself, there is no motive on the part of anyone to discredit the operation. The mayor is a hero and, like it or not, whether he won by ten votes or 1000, he IS the mayor.
wisdom offered for free

West Hamlin, WV

#44 Oct 1, 2013
In defining wisdom, the person from "Austin, TX," who is so concerned about our communities in Lincoln County even though he does not live here, now needs to take the next step and READ his definition and he will see that wisdom is exactly what has been offered here. The fact the poster from TX claims to have personal knowledge of Mr. Wilkinson's long-standing illegal activity(?) only causes me to ask for the proof and also calls the poster's own character into question. Why is it that he knows these things? Could it be that he is in fact the very thing that he is accusing the mayor of being? Is he affiliated with the foiled meth operation? Is this sour grapes? Is he/she perhaps a jilted lover from the past? What is the source of this very personal vendetta? Usually, if you know your accuser, you will know WHY.
wisdom offered for free

West Hamlin, WV

#45 Oct 1, 2013
And, does anyone else find it coincidental that all of these personal attacks against the mayor are coming at the very moment when the mayor appears in the Journal's front page headlines this week? I would suggest that maybe if the poster-with-a-grudge knows anything and can prove it that he should write a nice article in the Journal with facts instead of getting on topix and offering baseless comments. Sadly, this entire thread has become nothing but a personal vendetta against the mayor. Incredibly, the fact meth makers were foiled due to the mayor's cooperation has been lost in the conversation. And that is what is most important. The mayor's involvement in the whole affair is noble and will garner him many votes in the upcoming election. All decent people who oppose the drug culture here in Lincoln County will support him. It may seem like a "drop in the bucket" to someone who has a grudge, but to the good law-abiding citizens who actually LIVE HERE it is one step in the right direction. I plan to personally get at least 50 votes for him. Good thing the person from "Texas" who is attacking him on topix lives out of state and can't vote here.

“I am just me!”

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#46 Oct 1, 2013
This is the way it is wrote:
<quoted text>
Strange you would refer to "rules".
The "rules" of the organization of this church and most churches stipulate that the trustee's make financial decisions. While the Pastor is the spiritual leader he serves at the will and pleasure of the trustees who must pay the bills. The decision to "loan" the church bus to the county involves financial considerations.
The "rules" of the insurance policy stipulate that the coverage is for "church" purposes. Use as an assault vehicle would not be covered.
The "rules" aka West Virginia code stipulate that Mayors cannot also serve as Chief of Police, yet Chrissy still prances around in his cod piece of a Chief of Police costume.
The "rules" require vehicles to be properly licensed and inspected to be on the road. It appears that bus was not (ref Lincoln Journal article). Had there been injury as a result a collision of that bus any one of the participants survivors could have included that church in a lawsuit (yes this is 2013). The fact that the episode was not properly authorized would not be a defense.
It is brutally unfair to say or suggest that the church membership are insensitive to controlling drug traffic. Easily other county owned assets could have achieved the same surprise element. An example would have been one of those highway department dump trucks.
The "rules" require the Mayor to have approval of the Town Council prior to incurring financial obligations. Chris Wilkinson regularly violates this "rule" appropriately causing acrimony on the council.
The end justifies the means is not a valid argument here.
I do agree with you on most things stated. The vehicle was only to be used for church purposes only. And although I am glad there is one more meth lab out of operation, I do believe there were other options for a vehicle. People also have to realize and understand. If there was a accident and the church was sued, do you honestly think that the Police Department would have made it right? I would bet no. As for replacing the van if something happened to it, that is a maybe. But from a legal stand point, would they have even been obligated to do so. Chris used the van knowing the insurance would not pay if something happened. From a legal stand point that could be negligence. That is like driving without insurance if a person would think about it. And again I am not saying that the bust should not have been made, Just saying there are other options. And in all honesty I do not know details about the best, but if I were the ones that had the meth lab. I might be more suspicious of a church bus then a black suv parked outside, Depending on the time of day and the day of the week, so forth and so on. Like I stated I do not know the details. Just saying.

“I am just me!”

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#47 Oct 1, 2013
wisdom offered for free wrote:
If the mayor did anything ILLEGAL, as some suggest here, let's see if he is investigated or arrested. Otherwise, we can conclude that in fact, as has been claimed here repeatedly, he did nothing ILLEGAL. He did not, as has been asserted here, steal anything. As the Journal article says, the vehicle was "borrowed." The Journal, in its wisdom to offer the details of the story also framed it correctly. If you read WV law, you will see that law enforcement in fact has every right to confiscate a private vehicle ON THE SPOT and use it as they see fit (it is rarely done, but it is legal). Furthermore, as long as they have said vehicle they are liable for it and/or any damage done to/by it. If we remove the mayor from the equation, and I believe that an agenda against mayor is the reason some choose to attack the operation itself, there is no motive on the part of anyone to discredit the operation. The mayor is a hero and, like it or not, whether he won by ten votes or 1000, he IS the mayor.
Do you know how many vehicles are ceased each year? Did you know that if a vehicle is taken because it was proven to have been bought with drug money. Law enforcement officers have the right to use those vehicles any way they see fit. So why not one of those? As I have stated before, I am glad that something is being done about the meth labs, and other drugs out on the streets, but it is not like they were in pursuit of a suspect and had to grab a vehicle on the run. Oh and just to let you know, This statement is not against anyone. I like Chris, I have nothing against law enforcement officers, I like them as well. I am simply saying I can understand with a open mind the opinions of both sides.

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