Raid yields suspected meth lab

Four village residents are in custody for operating a meth laboratory following a Friday afternoon raid at an East Washington Street duplex.

Charged with manufacturing meth and possessing chemicals used to manufacture meth are: Heather Miller, 33, and Christopher Miller, 22, of 330 E. Washington St.; and Alex Porter, 30, and Regina Porter, 27, of South Beaver Street.

The raid at the Miller residence occurred 2:25 p.m, when Lisbon police and agents from the Columbiana County Drug Task Force forced their way into the west half of the duplex and found the Millers and Porters inside.

Fire Chief Dave Lewton and Lisbon firefighters stand by on the porch while agents with the Columbiana County Drug Task Force remove chemicals allegedly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine from a home on East Washington Street during a raid on Friday.

Police Chief Mike Abraham said two laboratories used to manufacture or "cook" meth on camp stoves were found set up in the bedrooms, along with chemicals, materials and items commonly used to manufacture meth, such as muriatic acid, lithium batteries and pseudoephedrine, a decongestant.

"This was the result of a two-month long investigation that resulted in a search warrant being obtained today by the drug task force for that residence," Abraham said.

After everyone was removed from the home, DTF agents donned protective gear to begin the process of safely removing the "cooked" meth and the chemicals used in the process. DTF agents set up a work station outside to house to transfer the materials into safe containers before neutralizing the contents for eventual disposal.

They were assisted by the Lisbon Fire Department, which remained in case any of the material exploded.

The section of East Washingon Street remained blocked off to traffic by police and the fire department for up to four hours while the materials and house were secured.

In addition to the felony charges, Abraham said the four defendants could also be charged with child endangering because Mrs. Miller's two children - ages 10 and 14 - also lived there.

The 10-year-old was home at the time of the raid, and Children Services was called to investigate the living conditions. The youths were placed in the custody of their grandfather for the time being.

This was the third meth house raid in Lisbon during the past 12 months. "I don't know if three in one year is a major problem, but it tells me it's everywhere," Abraham said.

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