Warren Seitz of North Jackson is in the Mahoning County Jail after local police and drug task force agents on Thursday raided the mobile home he shares with his 70-year-old mother in Jackon Township.
Police believe Seitz, 48, had been making methamphetamine there for the past several months.
“There were several different bottles with hoses attached to them. The Coleman fuel, the filters, the lithium batteries that had been stripped,” said Jackson Township Police Chief Greg Taillon.
Records show Seitz has a long history of drug arrests and is on parole for a drug conviction in Columbiana County. He reportedly moved into Shepards Mobile Home Park off Mahoning Avenue last fall.
Police began having their suspicions in February when the area was still in the grips of a frigid cold snap. Taillon said during some of the most bitter cold days, the windows in the mobile home were open and a fan was running. Through several weeks of investigation, a search warrant was issued.
On Thursday, officers with the Jackson Township Police Department, Mahoning County Sheriff’s deputies, agents with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and the Mahoning County OVI Task Force converged on the mobile home.
Seitz was arrested at the scene, and his elderly mother was taken from the home and is staying with family.
Taillon said this is the fourth meth-related arrest in the township in the past two years.
“This is absolutely still a problem. It is becoming so easy with the one-step, shake process. It is so easy to make,” said Taillon. “The chemicals are very dangerous. And as you can imagine there are a lot of children in that mobile home park.”
However, across Mahoning County, authorities claim they’re still seeing more trouble with heroin and marijuana.
Jeff Solic leads the Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force. He said while opiate use has been skyrocketing, his officers have found only about a dozen meth labs in the past five years.
He said the meth-making process may simply be too labor intensive compared to what is needed to obtain other drugs.
“It’s certainly easier to get high in another manner,” Solic said. “You have to get the pre-cursor chemicals, you have to worry about getting arrested buying the pre-cursor chemicals, laws limiting the amount of pseudoephedrine you can buy, you have to sign for it, have to show an ID.”
To get around that, Solic believes Seitz was trading methamphetamine for boxes of cold medicine needed to make it.
Seitz is charged with six felony counts of illegal manufacture of drugs and is due in court on Monday. Three of the charges are elevated because Seitz was allegedly making the drug in an area where children were present