NC third-grade teacher charged with operating meth lab in home

 A North Carolina third-grade teacher was accused Friday of cooking up meth with her husband in a home they shared with their 8-year-old son.

Lori Riley Whitely, 38, was charged with operating a meth lab and endangering a child after police raided her Johnston County home, authorities said. Her 41-year-old husband, Gary Whitley, was also busted.

Wake County school officials suspended Whitley from her job teaching third-graders at Wendell Elementary School after her arrest. The school district said she has been a teacher at Wendaell since 2002. She was suspended with pay, officials said.

Narcotics officers with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office raided the Whitley home armed with a search warrant.


 The Raleigh News & Observer said the deputies brought in a state police contamination team to handle chemicals found  in the home as part of the alleged meth lab. The paper said Whitley’s husband works at an auto body shop.

Deputies said the Whitley and her husband  lived in the house with their 8-year-old son. The boy was turned over to the Johnston County Department of Social Services.

The couple were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, conspiracy and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, child endangerment and possession of drug paraphernalia.

They were assigned a court-appointed attorney, the Raleigh paper said.

Whitley and her husband were jailed after they appeared before a judge and bail was set.

Bernard Brodie, a neighbor, told WRAL called Lori Whitley a “good lady” and noticed a strong odor coming from the home but did not know there was a drug operation going on in the house.

Wake County school officials say Whitley has been a third-grade teacher at Wendell Elementary School since 2002.

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