for immediate release
April 8, 2004

N E W S   R E L E A S E

Anonymous information concerning drug activity and a tip about Child Abuse have resulted in the discovery of a methamphetamine lab in Shalimar, and two arrests.

Charged with Felony Child Neglect are Christopher Olin Merritt (pictured left), age 31 (6-25-1972); and his girlfriend, Julie Yvette Hudson (pictured right), age 28 (8-23-1975), both of 61 Fawn Lane, Shalimar. The couple's 17 month old child was taken into protective custody.

Merritt was also arrested on a charge of Trafficking in Methamphetamine and Possessing a Controlled Substance. Additional state charges are pending in connection with illegal disposal of hazardous materials.

The Okaloosa County Multi-Agency Drug Task Force was called to the Fawn Lane address Tuesday evening (April 6), as the Florida Department of Children and Family Services and the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office investigated an anonymous tip of child abuse. Merritt was discovered hiding in a bathroom inside the house, and arrested on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for Violation of Probation on Driving on a Suspended License and Giving a False Name to Law Enforcement.

A bag containing suspected methamphetamine, and suspected precursor chemical for the manufacture of methamphetamine were discovered inside the residence.


for more information contact Sgt. Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420