Neighbor says background check could have prevented Cordova meth lab

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

CORDOVA, TN (WMC-TV) - It was an unlikely scene Tuesday on Abbey Cove Lane when investigators found the makings of a meth lab inside a home located not far from an elementary school and church.

"How dare they?" neighbor Marti Miller asked. "How dare these people come into quiet little neighborhoods like this that are gated?  They're obviously trying to keep the criminals out, and how dare they put my life and my neighbor's live in jeopardy?"

A private investigator, Miller lives right across the street.

"The other day, they were moving a bunch of stuff out," she said. "Big boxes. I thought that was a little odd."

Miller said it went from odd to outrageous when three of the four people living inside were arrested right in front of her home.

"I was incensed," she said. "I was insane."

Wednesday, warning and quarantine signs were posted on the house, which has a unique history.

"We had a felon who lived here, and the FBI came and took her away," Miller said.

As a homeowner's association board member and a private investigator, Miller went to the real estate company in charge of the money about background checks.

"I told her I would check it next time she ran it just to be safe since it would be my neighbor," she said.

But she was refused.

"She said no. She didn't want to spend the money - $35," Miller said.

According to a police affidavit, resident Natalie Reak knew about the meth lab.  She and her boyfriend, Chris Pipkin, did not have a criminal record.  But Brandon Bentley, who was also arrested, does.

"I would think so," Miller said. "It wasn't their first rodeo. I didn't see any instruction booklets."

Miller had a message for anyone else considering crime on her cove.

"Stay out," she said. "Don't come back."

Bonds for the suspects arrested Tuesday range from $45,000 to $100,000. They will all face a judge Thursday.

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