Cottonwood AZ (December 9, 2016) – On December 8, 2016, at approximately 7:30 AM, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to a report of a gunshot sound and a structure fire in the 2300 block of S. Posse Trail in the Verde Villages.
Fire Department personnel and deputies arrived to find an unattached metal shed in the yard of this residence with visible burn marks on the walls of the shed. After surveying the damage, deputies suspected the fire was the result of a “bottle cook,” terminology referring to the clandestine manufacture of illegal drugs. Additionally, strong chemical odors were detected in the immediate vicinity. Contact was made with the resident, 25-year-old Kristina Baugh, along with a 2 year-old child inside of the residence. Baugh was initially detained on scene pending further investigation.
Deputies checked the home and found three male subjects hiding inside. They were identified as 37 year-old Nathaniel Angel Janes of the Verde Villages, 34 year-old Mark Anthony Debottis Jr. of Payson, and 37 year-old Jeremy Michael Gower of Cottonwood (not pictured).
The Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking Task Force (PANT) was contacted for additional assistance. P.A.N.T. Detectives drafted and obtained a search warrant for this residence based upon previous investigations along with the information that was obtained during the initial response to this residence earlier in the day.
An air quality check was done on the property by trained personnel and determined there was no present or immediate danger to continue the investigation on the property.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety was contacted and provided specialists from their Hazardous Materials Team along with personnel from the Crime Laboratory. They were able to provide guidance on the safety considerations and protocol for the investigation and dismantling of illegal clandestine laboratories.
During the search, P.A.N.T. Detectives located numerous items related to the illegal manufacture, possession and use of dangerous drugs and narcotic drugs. These items included chemicals and vessels used and configured in a process to manufacture drugs. Detectives also found saleable amounts of methamphetamine and heroin along with loaded syringes and a digital scale inside. Detectives believe the initial report of a gunshot was related to a chemical reaction/explosion and resulting fire that took place in the metal shed. No evidence was found during the investigation indicating a firearm had been discharged. (See included scene photos).
Baugh, Janes and Debottis Jr. were arrested and charged with numerous felony crimes including Possession of Dangerous Drugs, Possession of Dangerous Drugs For Sale, Possession of Equipment and/or Chemicals to Manufacture Dangerous Drugs, Manufacture of Dangerous Drugs, Possession of Narcotic Drugs and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Charges are pending against Jeremy Michael Gower.
All 3 suspects remain in the Camp Verde Detention Center, each on a $50,000 bond. The child was released to a family member pending review by the Department of Child Safety.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was contacted and provided environmental clean-up specialists to decontaminate the scene.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov