Inmates Find Meth Makings

Law enforcement on Wednesday discovered materials which are used in a dangerous method of manufacturing methamphetamine.

A group of West Virginia Division of Corrections inmates picking up trash along Northern Parkway came upon the materials around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. The DOC officer subsequently contacted law enforcement.

Ohio County Sheriff’s Lt. Nelson Croft said the materials included a 2-liter bottle, as well as “household substances and solvents.” Those are used in the “one-pot” process of making meth, in which the chemicals are mixed by shaking them in the bottle.

The chemical reaction produces a crystalline powder that users smoke, snort or inject. They then discard the bottle, which contains a poisonous brown and white substance.

Croft said the “shake and bake” method creates a great risk for an explosion as the chemicals mix. It also poses a danger to anyone who comes across the discarded bottle, or law enforcement who process the scene.

An Environmental Protection Agency clean-up crew was en route to the scene from Kanawha County on Wednesday evening. Northern Parkway remained open to traffic as officers waited for EPA responders.

It is likely someone threw the materials out of a car window while driving down the hill, Croft said. This type of meth manufacturing is more common in the southern half of the state, he noted.

Investigators have no suspects.

Sheriff’s Deputy Rich White and West Virginia State Police Cpl. James Dean also responded. Croft, White and Dean have been certified by the Drug Enforcement Agency to investigate scenes involving methamphetamine.