PARKERSBURG - Four area residents were arrested Tuesday on drug charges after an early morning trash fire led police to a methamphetamine lab in a Cypress Street residence.
Era Dawn Corder, 38, Theodore J. Gibson, 30, both of 2617 Cypress St., Parkersburg; Gregory C. Stanley, 29, P.O. Box 441, Little Hocking, Ohio, and Shelly Berry, 36, 17 Kings Row, Lot 14, Parkersburg, were arrested on drug charges after the morning meth bust.
Around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday police officers responded to Parkersburg Fire Station Four on West Virginia Avenue for what Parkersburg sanitation workers believed to be components for making meth in the rear of a garbage truck.
Photo by Michael Erb
The Parkersburg Narcotics Task Force arrested four people Tuesday on suspicion of running a meth lab at a Cypress Street home. Officials say they were tipped off when trash from the home caught fire in a waste disposal truck.
Police said a plastic bottle with tubing was generating smoke. Task force agents arrived to find gas generators, reaction vessels and empty boxes of pseudoephedrine in the debris.
Police Chief Joe Martin said the garbage was brought to the fire station and officials found paperwork in the trash can listing the combusting materials. The paper trail led police to the 2617 Cypress St. house, Martin said.
Officers secured a search warrant and found "components inside the home consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine," Martin said.
During a search of the Cypress Street residence, items were found consistent with the manufacture of meth using the "shake and bake" or "one-pot" method, including suspected reaction vessels, gas generators, lithium batteries, drain cleaner and ammonium nitrate, Martin said.
The four suspects were placed under arrest on a felony charge of attempting to operate a clandestine meth lab, which carries a penalty of two to 10 years in prison. Corder and Gibson also were charged with exposing a minor to meth manufacturing, a felony, which carries a penalty of one to five years in prison.
After being medically cleared, all four were arraigned in Wood County Magistrate Court.
Gibson was being held on a $200,000 bond, Stanley on a $100,000 bond, Corder on a $200,000 bond and Berry on a $150,000 bond. All four failed to post bond and were set to be transported to the North Central Regional Jail, officials said.
Police said a child was at the Cypress Street home and Child Protective Services was contacted. The 4-year-old child was placed with a family member by CPS.
Agents were assisted on the scene by CPS, the Parkersburg police and fire departments, Camden Clark Ambulance Services and the Parkersburg Humane Society.