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      Jefferson County mom arrested in active meth lab, child endangerment investigation

      Carla Byess, left, has been charged with chemically endangering her two children after a meth lab was discovered at her home in northeast Jefferson County. Byess' step-son, Jeremiah Small, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the case.

      JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. -- The mother of two young children who were found at a home in northeast Jefferson County that was housing an active meth lab has been charged with child endangerment, the sheriff's office said Friday.

      Carla Byess, 29, is charged with two counts of chemical endangerment of a child. She was arrested at her residence in the 4600 block of Elfreth Johnson Thursday night.

      Byess' arrest comes after deputies performed a welfare check at her mobile home Tuesday afternoon after a concerned citizen alerted authorities of possible drug activity at the location. Upon arriving, Byess told deputies she was home alone, but noises were heard coming from the trailer, prompting her to change her story and reveal that her 20-year-old step-son was inside.

      Byess then consented to a search and an active meth lab was discovered inside the home along with the woman's two children, who are ages 5 and 8.

      Byess' step-son -- Jeremiah Small -- was arrested and charged with unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance while the two children were safely removed from the home and placed in the protective custody of relatives.

      Small was booked into the Jefferson County Jail, where he is being held on a $150,000 bond.

      Two days later deputies obtained warrants against Byess, and she is now jailed without bond.

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