5 people arrested in Marion meth lab bust

Five people were arrested after a police search warrant uncovered a meth lab Thursday.

Maj. Jay McDonald with the Marion Police Department said five people were arrested after a search at 516 Avondale Ave. revealed a methamphetamine lab operating out of the home. He said police entered the home suspecting it was a drug house.

“It’s going to be a pretty long drawn-out scene,” Maj. Bill Collins of the METRICH-MARMET Drug Task Force said Thursday evening as they prepared for several more hours of cleaning.

Collins said there were more than 30 pots that needed to be cleaned before they could continue investigating. He said it was the largest hazardous materials scene he has been a part of with the department.

Three of those arrested, and two officers who were in the house, were treated for chemical contamination, McDonald said.

“No one is exhibiting any signs of injury or adverse effects,” he said. “These are precautionary measures.”

Those who may have been contaminated were escorted from the home in white hazardous material suits and treated at the police station.

The other two suspects were found leaving the home when police arrived.

Nothing had been reported seized from the home by police at press time, as their investigation continued into the evening. Collins said there was “one room that’s full of methamphetamine byproducts.”

“We got the people and got out,” McDonald said. “The search has not taken place yet. No attempt to gather evidence has been undertaken because we’re playing it safe.”

A neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous, was watching as officials took the suspects into custody. She said a child who lived at the house would come over to her place on occasion. She said her own child had been in the house before and told her about suspicious activity about two weeks ago.

“I couldn’t believe it,” the neighbor said. “It makes me sick.”

During the afternoon, officials were waiting for the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and other Ohio agencies to arrive before proceeding with the investigation. Avondale Avenue was closed for several hours after the bust.

The Marion Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Marion City Fire Department all were at the scene. Officials planned to be on scene past midnight, cleaning and searching the home.

The five arrested include Duane Boggs, 35, Alan Carter Jr., 31, Jarrett Levins, 22, Dominique Owens, 20 and Brittany Yates, 28. All five are from Marion and were taken to the Multi-County Jail on charges of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs.

Collins said up to five more may be charged for providing chemicals necessary to make meth.

The house was the same one where a Marion police officer was bitten by a pit bull in a drug raid in 2012. McDonald said those found in the home were not the same people from that incident.

Originally published in the Marion Star on December 5, 2013.

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