For the record


Beth Sergent - bsergent@civitasmedia.com



Mason County Circuit Court

A Leon man has entered a plea of guilty to the felony offense of operate or attempt to operate a clandestine drug laboratory, according to court papers filed in the office of Mason County Circuit Court Clerk Bill Withers.

William M. Balser, 48, entered his plea before Judge David W. Nibert in Mason County Circuit Court, with a recent conviction order filed in the case.

Balser was indicted by the May 2014 term of the grand jury for operate or attempt to operate a clandestine drub laboratory and possession of altered pseudoephendrine following his arrest in April 2014. He is to reappear before Judge Nibert on Friday for sentencing.

According to the official criminal complaint filed in Mason County Magistrate Court, on April 12, 2014, deputies with the Mason County Sheriff’s Department arrived at 718 Matheny Drive in Leon after receiving a “drug tip” which alleged meth was being made at the residence. In the complaint, it was reported officers could smell a “strong chemical odor” coming from inside the residence and were allowed to enter the dwelling. Upon entering, deputies reported finding items consistent with an alleged inactive shake and bake meth lab.

As previously reported, a Gallipolis, Ohio, man entered into a plea agreement following his arrest in November on a drug charge. According to papers filed with the circuit court clerk, a conviction order has been entered in the case against Damaeus Q. Basham, 39. Basham entered a plea of guilty to the felony offense of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver in Mason County Circuit Court before Judge Nibert. Basham was to return for sentencing on July 17 but that date has been continued to Aug. 7.

In the conviction order, it states Basham could face jail time for not less than one year nor more than five years, or fined not more than $15,000 or both. Basham was indicted by the January term of the grand jury for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

According to the official criminal complaint filed in Mason County Magistrate Court, Patrolmen Tyler DeWeese and D.M. Taylor with the Point Pleasant Police Department were dispatched by Mason County 911 to respond to an apartment at 402 21st St. The apartment was occupied by a resident who stated there were people dealing drugs inside his home and he didn’t want them there, the complaint said. The resident led the officers into his apartment, and upon entering the living room, an unidentified female was on the couch and Basham was sitting in a chair.

The complaint goes on to say, sitting on a table in the living room were seven individually “plastic wrapped” baggies of green leafy vegetation, along with a larger sandwich bag of green leafy vegetation and a set of digital scales. The seven clear, small baggies with the vegetation inside were allegedly packaged in a manner to be sold individually, according to the complaint.

Beth Sergent

bsergent@civitasmedia.com

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