3 arrested, children taken after discovery of meth operation

(Brandon Geier/WCIV)

UPDATE (March 2017): The individuals mentioned in this 2012 article no longer own, live, or are affiliated with the address mentioned below.


Authorities responded to an incident in the Wakendaw Lakes neighborhood off Mathis Ferry Road in Mount Pleasant late Tuesday night.

Mount Pleasant police say they responded to a tip there may be a meth lab in the neighborhood at 746 Wakendaw Road. Investigators confirmed on Wednesday a small scale meth lab had been operated at the residence on previous occasions.

Witnesses say a HAZMAT crew responded to the scene, and that officers closed the road at Wakendaw Boulevard and West Vagabond Lane. The area was cleared just before midnight.

Daniel Evanda Johnston III, 30, and Heidi Marie Dawley, 30, were taken into custody and charged with two counts of unlawfully exposing a child to methamphetamine manufacturing and/or chemicals. Investigators say Dawley had two children present during times the meth lab was in operation.

The two children were taken to a local hospital and later turned over to the Department of Social Services (DSS).

Lauren Elaine Pender, 21, was also taken into custody and charged with possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and providing false information to officers.

Charleston County deputies and City of Charleston police assisted with the incident.