SOUTHSIDE — A Southside man has been sentenced in Mason County Circuit Court after being arrested and charged with operating a meth lab last July.
Keith A. Nelson, 33, appeared before Judge David W. Nibert in May, entering into a plea agreement where he pleaded guilty to the felony offense of operate or attempt to operate a clandestine drub laboratory. Back in September 2015, Nelson was indicted by the grand jury for operate or attempt to operate a clandestine drub laboratory; exposure of children to methamphetamine manufacturing, two counts; child neglect creating risk of injury, two counts. In exchange for his plea to the one count, the remaining counts were to be dismissed.
Nelson reappeared in front of Judge Nibert in June and was sentenced to a state correctional facility for not less than two years, nor more than 10 years. He was given credit for time previously served and assessed court costs. Judge Nibert directed Mason County Drug Court and Mason County Probation to interview Nelson while he is in custody to determine eligibility for the drug court program.
Nelson was represented at the hearing by Attorney Tanya Handley, while the state was represented by Assistant Prosecutor R.F. Stein, Jr. Nelson remained incarcerated at the Western Regional Jail as of Monday evening.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Mason County Magistrate Court, back in July 2015, troopers with the Mason County detachment of the West Virginia State Police, arrived at Nelson’s residence along 16-Mile Road in Southside to serve a search warrant. Upon entering the residence, a “strong” chemical odor was apparent, according to the complaint. Also, inside the residence, were two children ages 5 and 9. At that time, Nelson was located inside a middle bathroom and during a further search of the residence. Also found were alleged “multiple meth manufacturing materials,” according to the complaint. These materials included Coleman fuel, lithium batteries, boxes of pseudoephedrine and empty blister packs, aluminum foil, cold pack related items.
In relation to this case, an information was presented in May against Carrie Pruett, 31, Southside, for the felony charge of conspiracy. Pruett entered a plea of guilty to conspiracy as presented in the information and in exchange, the state was to dismiss a previous indictment against her. She was represented by Attorney Kyle Moore and the state by Prosecuting Attorney R. Craig Tatterson. Pruett is scheduled to reappear before Judge Nibert this week for sentencing in Mason County Circuit Court, according to a court docket filed in the office of Mason County Circuit Court Clerk Bill Withers.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.