Woman sentenced to three years in prison for operating meth labs in Wooster

An Akron woman who was found operating meth labs in the city with her boyfriend at the time was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday.

Melissa Luangkhoth, 22, of 986 Mohawk Trail, was sentenced on one count of illegal possession or assembly of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, a third-degree felony, in Wayne County Common Pleas Court.

"I'll admit that I needed this to open my eyes," Luangkhoth said to Judge Corey Spitler in a letter she wrote and read during her sentencing, which noted she has a drug problem. "I don't want to be one of those people constantly in and out of jail," and wants to be a better mother to her young daughter.

As part of the plea agreement, Luangkhoth will be eligible for judicial release after one year.

The charges stem from her arrest March 16 in Wooster when a meth lab was discovered in a hotel room in the 900 block of Timken Road and led to an evacuation of other guests at the hotel.

Luangkhoth was found with her boyfriend at the time, Brandon Painter, 33, also of 986 Mohawk Trail, Akron.

He accepted a plea deal on meth-related charges and was sentenced to five years in prison June 9. He pleaded guilty to aggravated possession of drugs and illegal possession or assembly of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs.

Don Hall, executive director for the Medway Drug Enforcement Agency, was called to the scene and dismantled the lab where they had just completed a cook.

He said it is believed the two were dumping hazardous waste from the cooking process down the toilet, such as Coleman fuel, muriatic acid and ammonium nitrate.

Hall said Painter and Luangkhoth also were cooking meth at a residence in the 800 block of Lois Avenue in Wooster where police were called earlier the same night and located meth trash, or the by-products, left after cooking the drug using the "one-pot" method, such as 2-liter plastic bottles and chemicals used to make meth.

Police were told by a person at the residence Painter and Luangkhoth were staying there until they were kicked out.

Spitler warned Luangkhoth that the only reason she is being considered for judicial release when the time comes is "because you were not the primary player in this situation."

He said part of her problem is the type of people she associates with, which he implored her to change if indeed she wants to be a good mother to her child.

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