Couple cooks meth in motel room with kids present

Ashley Alexander, 23

The following is a news release from the McDonough County Sheriff's Department in Macomb, Illinois:

McDonough County Sheriff Rick VanBrooker reports that an ongoing drug investigation along with an anonymous tip led to the arrests of Justin E. Cox, age 26, and Ashley D. Alexander, age 23, both of Industry.

On September 16th at 1:30 p.m. drug investigators from the Sheriff TMs Department, Macomb Police and Colchester Police went to room 125 1646 N. Lafayette Street (Rodeway Inn) to investigate the reported sale of Methamphetamine.

Officers made contact with Cox and Alexander and observed drug paraphernalia in the room.

Officers seized Methamphetamine packaged for delivery and a spring-loaded stiletto knife from Cox TMs person.

Officers then placed the pair under arrest, secured the room and took two children ages 1 and 3, who were also in the room, into temporary protective custody.

A search warrant was obtained for the room and the resulting search led to the discovery of a working Methamphetamine lab.

The motel was then evacuated and the Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team was called. The Macomb Fire Department stood by until the lab was removed.

After the lab was removed from the premises officers continued the search. Investigators seized 86.4 grams of Methamphetamine, 3.8 grams of Heroin both packaged for delivery, a .380 caliber handgun and ammunition, syringes, under 2.5 grams of Cannabis, digital scales and packaging material.

The Methamphetamine Response Team took the lab after confirming it was active.

Cox and Alexander were lodged in the McDonough County Jail charged with 2 Counts each of Aggravated Participation in Methamphetamine Manufacturing, (Aggravating factors were the children were present and the handgun), Possession of Methamphetamine with the Intent to Deliver, Possession of a Controlled Substance (Heroin, 1-5 grams) Possession of Methamphetamine Precursor (under 15 grams), Unlawful Possession of a weapon (handgun), Possession of a Hypodermic Syringes and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Sheriff VanBrooker expects further charges pending review by the McDonough County State TMs Attorney.