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Fugitive potentially faces federal charges

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Fugitive potentially faces federal charges

Stephen Melton was captured Thursday night in Covington after an extensive manhunt and a stint as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's most wanted fugitive.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Steve Sanders said Melton was located on Melrose Road. He had been on the run since Jan. 11.
"He had the potential to be a real dangerous man and I think it's a relief for everyone," said Lauderdale County Steve Sheriff Sanders.
That day, Melton was arrested at his Henning home and placed in the back of a patrol vehicle while police searched the residence, finding a meth lab, guns and pipe bombs in his home.
The 58-year-old kicked the glass out of the patrol vehicle, then stole it, dumping the SUV into a wooded area in Lauderdale County and fleeing on foot.
A ping from his cell phone brought law enforcement officials to the Melrose Road area on Jan. 22, prompting Dyersburg State Community College to place its Covington campus on lockdown.
Melton's parents live in the Territown subdivision, just behind the college.
Sanders said Melton was cooperative and even apologetic after his arrest.
Melton had colored his hair and shaved his beard in an attempt to evade arrest. He'd traveled at night, spending his days camped out.
Photos show Melton had several pint-sized bottles of Jack Daniels filled with ammonium hydroxide, a common component in the manufacture of methamphetamine, in his possession when he was arrested. Additionally, he had rubber tubing, lighters, black pepper, knives, binoculars and books, such as The Redneck Manifesto and The Farmer's Almanac.
Melton's preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 28. He has been charged with initiation of the manufacture of methamphetamine, promotion of methamphetamine manufacture, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, unlawful possession of a prohibited weapon, felony escape, felony evading arrest, felony vandalism and theft over $10,000.
He may face additional state charges in Lauderdale and Tipton counties as well as federal charges, said district attorney Mike Dunavant.
He is being held on a $500,000 bond.

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