Mansfield police arrested a man Tuesday night on suspicion that he was manufacturing methamphetamine in the attic of his Lexington Avenue apartment while children were present.

Officers from the Mansfield Police Department Afternoon Watch investigated the complaint, according to Mansfield police Lt. Keith Porch. Both patrol officers and detectives from the METRICH Enforcement Unit conducted a knock and talk in the second floor apartment of 87 Lexington Ave.

Consent to search was given and the meth lab was found in the attic. The building was evacuated and a member of the Clandestine Lab Response Team neutralized the chemicals and ingredients.

Nicholas R. Mchugh, 34, was charged with illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacturing of drugs, a first-degree felony. The charge was enhanced to a felony of
the first degree because two small children were in the home. Richland County Children Services was contacted.

METRICH Enforcement Unit Operations Supervisor Sgt. J.D. Petrycki said that the chemical fumes from a meth lab can be noxious and harmful to anyone exposed to them. Some signs of meth lab chemical exposure include itching or burning of skin and eyes, difficulty breathing or tightness in the chest area.

Originally published in the News Journal on January 15, 2014