OHIO VALLEY — Three new meth lab busts were made during the extended Labor Day weekend in the tri-county, with meth production-related charges coming down against two Gallipolis men in Mason County on Tuesday.
A “shake and bake” methamphetamine lab was reportedly discovered on Saturday morning by Meigs County Sheriff’s Deputies near the Community of Christ Church on Lovett Road in Lebanon Twp. Portland, Ohio.
The lab — that was found in a duffel bag being carried by an individual sleeping on the church lawn — was neutralized by a deputy with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office and an officer with the Middleport Police Department who are both certified to handle meth labs.
The individual, Ryan Miller, 25, of Lovett Road, Portland, was taken into custody on outstanding warrants related to his failure to appear for a hearing in the Meigs County Court on a charge of receiving stolen property, for his failure to appear on summons for breaking and entering in June 2011 and for his failure to appear for a hearing in Meigs Juvenile Court in December 2011.
According to Meigs County Sheriff Robert Beegle, his office received a report of suspicious vehicle near the church, and, when deputies arrived on scene, no cars were located, but Miller was found and taken into custody.
Deputies discovered the lab while completing an inventory of the duffel bag at the sheriff’s office. The bag and contents were immediately taken outside where the chemicals were later neutralized.
Miller is being held in the Meigs County Jail.
Two alleged methamphetamine labs were also discovered in Mason County, W.Va., this weekend.
According to the Mason County Sheriff’s Department, on Sunday, September 2, deputies responded to a residence located at 2765 Crab Creek Road in Gallipolis Ferry in reference to trespassers in a vacant home.
Upon arrival, the officers discovered four subjects inside the home which allegedly contained an active “one-pot” meth lab as well as numerous other components related to meth production.
Arrested at the scene were Christopher Arrington, 33, Gallipolis Ferry, Misty Litchfield, 40, Henderson, W.Va., and Robin Zuransky, 44, Nelsonville, Ohio.
Reportedly, a warrant has also been issued for the arrest of Johnathan Beaver, 31, Huntington, W.Va., in relation to the bust in Gallipolis Ferry.
On Monday, the Mason County Sheriff’s Department discovered a second meth lab in Point Pleasant.
According to the sheriff’s department, deputies responded to a residence located at 480 Pine Drive in Point Pleasant in reference to an investigation and home confinement check-up.
Reportedly, during the investigation, the officers were able to locate drug paraphernalia, stolen property alleged to have been taken during a breaking and entering case received by the sheriff’s department earlier on Monday, as well as items consistent with the operation of a meth lab.
Charles Rusk, 30, Point Pleasant, Kimberly McDonough, 34, Point Pleasant, and Brandon Roush, 25, Pomeroy, were all arrested following the investigation and transported to the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville, W.Va.
All three have been charged with operating or attempting to operate a clandestine laboratory.
Rusk has also been charged with a violation of home confinement and Roush was also arrested on a capias warrant.
Also, on Tuesday, a grand jury in Mason County indicted nine individuals on charges relating to meth-making activities, two of which are of Gallia County.
According to the Mason County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Richard Allen Hurt, 19, and Robert E. Lee, 40, both of Gallipolis, were indicted on charges of operating a clandestine drug laboratory, manufacturing a controlled substance and conspiracy.
Lee and Hurt, along with Bryan D. Darst, 25, Point Pleasant, were arrested on April 27 and charged with making meth in an apartment located above Bordman Furniture in downtown Point Pleasant after two working “shake and bake” meth labs were discovered inside the apartment by law enforcement.
Officers responded to the apartment located at 313 Main Street, Point Pleasant, after receiving an anonymous tip that a possible meth lab was being operated in one of apartments above the furniture store.
Following the discovery, all 10 apartments above the store, as well as the business had to be evacuated and cleaned to the specification of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
Darst was also indicted on Tuesday for the alleged operating of a clandestine drug laboratory, the manufacture of a controlled substance and conspiracy.
The three men are to appear in the Mason County Circuit Court at 9:15 a.m. on Thursday, September 6 for a hearing in relation to the charges filed against them.