The unassuming brown house with a blue door sits under a hill in Jacksboro. It appears similar to the other homes on Cedar Circle.
Except for the yellow crime scene tape that encircles the front porch and the quarantined signs that decorate the front of the home.
The house at 353 Cedar Circle is just one of 194 homes quarantined in Campbell County because meth had been produced there, according to the Tennessee Meth Registry.
“We patrol as many as these homes as we can,” said Sheriff Robbie Goins. “When someone calls in to report activity at the home, we go out to the residence.”
Quick response to a call like that led police to arrest Daryl Overbay, 42, 112 Overbay Lane, Caryville, last week.
Overbay’s Cedar Circle home had been under quarantine for a nearly a year. Yet when police arrived last Tuesday they found the stickers warning people that meth had been made in the home torn down.
Working on the tip someone was in the home, police called out several times, said Campbell County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Brandon Elkins.
When authorities failed to garner a response, K-9 Officer Dano was released in the home.
“We located him (Overbay) hiding in a closet under a blanket and some clothes,” Elkins said.
As police searched the home, they allegedly discovered a plethora of items used to manufacture meth.
While Overbay initially said he was at the home to collect some of his children’s furniture, he later confessed to police he had been cooking meth in the home in the days prior, Elkins said.
“There was no finished product but we found quite a bit of evidence indicating he had been cooking meth there recently,” Elkins said.
However, it appears Overbay wasn’t the only person who had been in the home.
Documents in the home indicate the bank, which had taken possession of the home in the last year, has had representatives in the home as well.
The CCSD did contact the lender to share the ramifications of entering the home, Elkins said.
It is a crime, he said.
Violating a quarantine order is a class B misdemeanor under Tennessee State law.
Aside from the criminal ramifications, going into a home where a meth lab has adulterated the surroundings the environment is toxic, according to Elkins.
“The chemicals left behind after a meth lab cannot be absorbed by the human body,” Elkins said.
The chemicals can permeate the air, carpet, walls along with the heating and air units.
Once the acids, lye, lithium fumes and other noxious fumes come to rest in the home, a quarantine is often the next step.
“It also normally involves throwing away everything in the home,” Elkins said.
An order is also attached to the deed noting the home has been placed under a meth quarantine. Before that can be lifted, the home must be first be tested by a state certified hygienist. A series of wall swabs is used to determine the amount of exposure the home has had to the deadly drug.
“The remnants of meth can layer on the walls,” Goins said.
“I have seen houses where the test results required the house be taken down to the studs,” Elkins said.
After the results are returned, a cleaning by a state certified cleaning technician is usually required.
Costs incurred for testing and cleaning belong to the homeowner.
Testing and cleaning costs can reach $30,000, Elkins said.
Only after these steps have taken place can an order lifting the quarantine be executed.
Yet even with a quarantine in place, many people still return to their homes to cook meth.
“They feel safe there,” Elkins said.