Illinois Women Arrested After Meth Lab Found In Church

08/28/2014 06:10 pm ET | Updated Aug 28, 2014

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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