Man arrested in Friday meth raid

For the third time in 2016, METRICH-MARMET detectives raided an alleged methamphetamine house Friday.

The raid, at 427 Fies Ave., occurred around 9 a.m. Friday, according to a press release. METRICH-MARMET worked with an agent from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Marion County Sheriff's Office and the Marion Police Department.

Johnny E. Friley Jr., 36, was arrested on a charge of manufacturing methamphetamine, a first-degree felony, as part of the operation. Court records show formal charges had not been filed and entered online as of Friday afternoon.

There were two previous meth-related busts this year, one Jan. 19 at 634 Pearl St., and one Feb. 11 at 468 Park Blvd. Despite the dangers of such an operation, METRICH-MARMET officials said they were carried out without incident, though the Marion Fire Department was on standby in those cases.

Criminal trials against four people, two from each previous case, are ongoing, and they have pleaded not guilty.

Richard Sobers, 29, and Tasha Sobers, 31, were charged in January with on one count of aggravated possession of drugs, a first-degree felony; one count of illegal manufacture of drugs, a second-degree felony; one count of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, a third-degree felony; and one count of possession of heroin, a fourth-degree felony.

In February, Jacob D. King, 32, and Jimmy D. Collins, 36, jointly were indicted on one count of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, a second-degree felony.

"We cannot allow methamphetamine to be made or sold in our county," County Prosecutor Brent Yager said. "... (We) will pursue tough penalties for anyone convicted of making or selling meth."

Marion County Sheriff Tim Bailey also addressed METRICH-MARMET's aggressive targeting of anyone involved in meth manufacturing, saying making meth is "extremely dangerous for that neighborhood and the people who live nearby."

Originally published in the Marion Star on March 4, 2016.

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