Illinois Women Arrested After Meth Lab Found In Church

It may not be one of the Ten Commandments, but it kind of goes without saying that thou shalt not cook meth in a house of worship.

But two women were accused of cooking meth inside a rural southern Illinois church on Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.

Judith Hemken, 53, and Tiffany Burton, 26, were arrested near Hillsboro after a Waveland Hillsboro Presbyterian Church member "noticed activity" in the building on a Tuesday night when it was supposed to be empty, Montgomery County Undersheriff Rick Robbins told the The State Journal-Register. The church member reportedly spotted one woman outside the church and another in its basement, with what appeared to be parts of a meth lab.

The women fled in a car, but were pulled over by police. Officers found a clandestine lab in the church basement and had to extinguish a small fire that started due to the lithium and moisture from a sink drain, the Journal-News reports.

Meth labs have cropped up in other unusual locations, like retirement communities, Walmart and a golf course porta-potty. Robbins told the State Journal-Register he'd never seen a meth cooked in a church before, but he had seen a meth lab at a cemetery.

Neither woman was affiliated with Waveland, Robbins said. Since the alleged lab was inside a church, the women could face enhanced sentences of up to 40 years in prison.



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