HENDERSON — Feet away from the highway and in the middle of a trailer court, several alleged meth labs were found in and around a residence in Henderson.
Arrested and charged with operating a clandestine drug lab are Robert F. Jones, 20, West Columbia and Karen L. Green, 29, Point Pleasant.
According to the Mason County Sheriff’s Department, deputies along with personnel from the Henderson Police Department responded to a residence at 29 Forrest St., Lot 11, around 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Apparently law enforcement received a tip that an alleged meth lab was being operated out of the residence.
Upon investigation of the residence, deputies say what are believed to be several shake and bake style meth labs were found both in and round the residence. There were two, alleged active meth labs found inside the residence, according to the sheriff’s department.
The shake and bake method of making meth is becoming more popular in the area due to the fact it’s portable, it’s cheaper and it manufactures meth more quickly than traditional methods.
Tuesday afternoon the trailer had been taped off and no one was permitted to enter. In West Virginia, if a meth lab is found in a home or building, that dwelling must be evacuated and either cleaned in a very specific way mandated by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, or it is to be torn down. All of the costs associated with either cleaning or tearing down a dwelling are to be shouldered by the property owner.
The explosion of meth making in West Virginia, as well as Mason County, has left many to wonder what will become of the condemned properties. In situations where there is no money to either clean up or tear down the properties, these properties can sit empty and become eyesores. If the property is abandoned, for liability issues, some banks with liens on these properties may not wish to become involved in the cleanup as well. All of these questions are ones communities in Mason County, as well as communities across the state, may need to develop a plan to address.
Working on the case are Lt. S. Greene, Sgt. C. A. Varian and Cpl. T. L. Powell from the Mason County Sheriff’s Department and Henderson Police Chief D. McCoy.
Both Jones and Green were being held at the Western Regional Jail as of Tuesday afternoon.