Two indicted in drug-related house fire; Powder Springs man still on run from authorities
March 28, 2014 04:00 AM | 4976 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From staff reports

ATLANTA — A Powder Springs man remains on the run as authorities have levied federal indictments against him and an alleged accomplice in a house fire caused by a drug-making operation.

Adrian Banks, 39, of Atlanta has been arraigned on federal charges relating to the manufacture of PCP, which led to a house fire when the clandestine laboratory exploded.

Coleman Warnock, 41, of Powder Springs, a second defendant named in the indictment, remains a fugitive and is being sought by police.

“An entire neighborhood was put at risk by the explosion of this PCP lab,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Thankfully, this lab is out of business and our citizens in that neighborhood are safe.”

Not only were these men putting dangerous drugs on the street, they were also endangering innocent people by operating a PCP lab in a neighborhood, said Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan.

According to Yates, the charges and other information presented in court, on July 6, 2013, Fulton County Fire/Rescue responded to a citizen’s call about a house fire in a Fairburn neighborhood south of Atlanta.

The house was destroyed after burning for almost two days. Further investigation revealed the presence of numerous barrels and canisters of chemicals suggesting the presence of a large, PCP lab in the residence. No one other than the individuals involved in the alleged manufacture of PCP was harmed in the fire.

On Jan. 14, 2014, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against the defendants, Warnock and Banks, charging them with one count of conspiracy to manufacture PCP, four counts related to the manufacture of at least one kilogram of PCP and one count of creating a substantial risk of harm to human life while attempting to manufacture PCP.

On Jan. 16, Banks was arrested and has since been detained.

If anyone has any information on Warnock’s whereabouts they are asked to contact the DEA at (404) 893-7000.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is leading the investigation of the case. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Fulton County Fire/Rescue, Fulton County Police, Fulton County Fire Department Hazmat Team, SWS Environmental Services, the Georgia State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Atlanta Fire Department and the Atlanta Fire Department Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Team have also been involved in the clean-up of the residence and investigation of the case.

Assistant United States Attorney Vivek Kothari is prosecuting the case.

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