Thomas Stallings, Jason Knope and Donna Knope

Accidental 911 call leads to meth bust

Line was open for nearly 28 minutes as dispatcher listened

Dispatchers fielded a phone call about 12:31 a.m. Saturday with the standard greeting: “911, where’s your emergency?” While no one on the other end responded, the call-taker could hear voices in the background.

Authorities said what those voices were saying immediately piqued the dispatcher's interest, as she quickly realized that she was overhearing a discussion about drugs.

>>AUDIO:  Listen to the 911 call [Contains NSFW language]

The dispatcher left the phone line open for nearly 28 minutes as she continued to listen in on the conversation and relay what she was hearing to responding deputies. At one point, the dispatcher noted that she could hear a bubbling sound as if something was cooking.

Using cellphone locator data, deputies were dispatched to the home where they traced the sound of the voices to a shed in the backyard. When deputies peered through an open window, they could see meth-making materials in plain view, investigators said.

Deputies said they also saw white smoke billowing out of the shed, a sign of active meth cooking.

Deputies apprehended the three occupants and removed them from the shed for safety reasons while the Sheriff’s Office’s Clandestine Laboratory Response Team was dispatched to the scene to dismantle the meth lab.

Narcotics agents also were dispatched to the shed to further the on-scene investigation.

Inside the shed, authorities said they found all of the makings of an active meth lab, including coffee filters, a butane torch, batteries, drain opener, plastic tubing, hypodermic needles, lithium strips, lighter fluid, plastic bags and numerous plastic bottles containing a white substance.

The suspects were identified as 55-year-old Donna Knope, 32-year-old Jason Knope and 41-year-old Thomas Stallings. All three were charged with manufacture of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell or deliver.

In addition, Thomas was charged with violating probation in connection to a prior robbery conviction.

All three defendants were taken to the Volusia County Jail.

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