Deputies seeking suspect discovered alleged meth lab

Columbiana County deputies attempting to serve a warrant on Sunday afternoon not only found Nathan Steer in the East Eighth Street home, but also about 40 marijuana plants, methamphetamines and meth labs for making the substance.

Two deputies along with a Salem police officer went to the house at 278 E. Eighth St. at 1:17 p.m. Sunday looking to serve a warrant for Steer, 27, for failure to appear.

According to a sheriff's report, Deputy Steve Boyd noted he could see a marijuana bong on the kitchen counter and smell a strong odor of raw marijuana as they entered the back door. There they were greeted by a man, who told deputies Steer and his girlfriend were upstairs.

Steer reportedly met deputies on the steps between the first and second floors and deputies asked if there was anyone else in the house because they could hear someone moving around. Steer reportedly told deputies there was no one there. But upon checking the upstairs deputies were met by another man coming out of a bedroom. In that room, deputies reportedly found a digital scale, marijuana stems and a jar containing suspected marijuana sitting in plain sight on a stand.

Still looking for the girlfriend who was reported to have been there, deputies checked the basement and found many marijuana plants being cultivated with grow lights.

At this point, the Columbiana County Drug Task Force, along with Lt. Allan Young and K-9 Jesy were called to the house. A search warrant was obtained.

Steer was found to have four packets of suspected meth in his pocket. After finding a plastic bottle being used to cook meth in one bedroom, the Drug Enforcement Administration was called to do a meth cleanup. During the process, evidence was reportedly found of 14 meth cooks, including two which were actively cooking.

The home was ventilated by the Salem Fire Department before the search continued.

Investigators reportedly removed the 40 suspected marijuana plants in the basement and other baggies and bottles containing suspected marijuana in the bedrooms. Additionally, investigators found crack pipes and straws for using drugs.

Charges are pending analysis of the items found.

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