The largest amount of methamphetamine the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office said it has ever confiscated was taken off the streets Thursday afternoon after a car was stopped in Blanchester for having expired tags.
James W. McLaren, 49, at-large address, was initially arrested for having six outstanding warrants in Clinton County, said Detective Doug Eastes of the sheriff’s office.
Eastes said McLaren was known by law enforcement to be “armed and dangerous and to have violent tendencies.” It was noted that officers should approach McLaren “with caution,” Eastes said.
During an inventory of the car, deputies discovered a one-pot methamphetamine lab “cooking” in the trunk of McLaren’s car.
Eastes called the one-pot methamphetamine lab “highly explosive.”
“They’re a lot more dangerous than the other kind,” Eastes said.
The car was stopped by Deputy Scott Stanfill in the 100 block of North Broadway Street in downtown Blanchester, between Main Street and Center Street.
After the meth lab was discovered, sheriff’s deputies blocked off the 100 block of North Broadway Street because of the danger. The Blanchester-Marion Township Fire Department was called in to stand by at the scene.
The bag of methamphetamine was discovered “in plain view” between the driver’s seat and the door, Eastes said.
Special Agent Dwight Aspacher from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification, responded to the scene to assist in neutralization and dismantling the meth lab. After making the lab safe, Aspacher transported it to a “container site” in Lebanon, where it will be disposed of in a safe manner, Eastes said.
McLaren was initially charged with illegal assembly of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs.
Additional charges are expected following analysis of the methamphetamine at the BCI lab, Eastes said.
Blanchester Police officers assisted with the traffic stop, McLaren’s arrest and traffic control at the scene.