Rockdale Deputies Hospitalized After Inhaling Meth Fumes

CONYERS -- Five Rockdale County Sheriff's deputies were taken to the hospital Monday after inhaling methamphetamine fumes while serving an arrest warrant at a house on Old Salem Road in east Rockdale County.

The deputies were at the house, located at 2165 Old Salem Road, at 2:30 p.m. to serve an arrest warrant against Charles Doyle Nichols, 50, of Zebulon. Nichols was wanted in Pike County on child molestation and drug charges.

The deputies began searching the house and found Nichols hiding behind a cider block wall when they smelled a strange odor and saw smoke, according to RCSO spokeswoman Sgt. Jodi Shupe.

"The deputies found paraphernalia used in manufacturing methamphetamine that was the source of the smoke," Shupe said. "Several of our deputies inhaled the smoke from the methamphetamine after getting the suspect in custody."

The Federal Drug Enforcement Agency was called to the scene. RCSO deputies were processed using the Sheriff's Office decontamination protocol.

"Their uniforms were taken from them and put in plastic bags. They were given decontamination suits and taken to the hospital for methamphetamine poisoning," Shupe said.

Nichols and another man, who was living at the house, were also taken to Rockdale Medical Center for treatment.

Conditions of the deputies and the men were not immediately available.