3 face charges related to manufacturing meth

8 children between 18 months to 17 years old, 2 elderly people removed from homes
3 face charges related to manufacturing meth
Diane Franke, Amber Brown, Todd Brown

Three people face charges related to manufacturing of methamphetamine in Vernon County and eight children and two elderly people were removed from their homes.

The Vernon County Sheriff’s Office arrested four people late Thursday afternoon following a lengthy investigation into the manufacturing of methamphetamine in the Hillsboro area.

Investigators executed a search warrant at two separate locations within the town of Greenswood near Hillsboro. They found evidence of manufacturing meth using what’s known as the “Red Phosphorus” method. Investigators said the method is known to produce volatile fumes during the cooking process.

Members of the Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response Team from the Department of Justice were called to respond to both scenes and help authorities process the evidence and residual chemicals. The Vernon County Hazardous Materials Team provided contaminated materials cleanup at both scenes.

A 19-year-old woman was taken into custody and was eventually released without charges. Three people are facing charges related to the manufacturing of meth: Diane Franke, 41, of Heights Road, Hillsboro, and Amber Bown, 39, and Todd Brown, 46, of Staley School Road, Hillsboro.

Vernon County Sheriff John Spears said eight children between the ages of 18 months and 17 years were removed from the homes. All were placed in temporary homes. Authorities are working to place the children with relatives. Two elderly people have also been removed from the homes.

The investigation was a result of a joint effort between the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office, Hillsboro Police Department, Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation and the West Central MEG Unit.