Illinois women charged with cooking meth in church

HILLSBORO, Ill. (AP) — Two Illinois women have been charged with cooking methamphetamine in a rural Hillsboro church.

Montgomery County officials say 53-year-old Judith Hemken and 26-year-old Tiffany Burton were charged Wednesday with participation in manufacturing methamphetamine. They could each face nine to 40 years in prison if convicted.

Undersheriff Rick Robbins says authorities responded to a call Tuesday from a member of the Waveland Presbyterian Church who said he had stopped at the church to investigate suspicious activity while the church was closed.

The church member said he saw two women there and what looked like components of a meth lab before the women took off in a car. Robbins said deputies stopped a vehicle the church member had described and then arrested the women.

Robbins said he has investigated meth operations in cemeteries before, but never in a church.

Hemken's bond was set at $200,000 and Burton's was $100,000. The women are due in court Friday morning, when they may be assigned public defenders.

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