LOGAN, W.Va. — A resident of Crawley Creek, W.Va. was recently arrested after authorities were alerted to a possible methamphetamine lab.
Before traveling to the residence, officers report they checked the NPLEx database and were able to obtain information that Ralph Edward Butcher II, 38, of Crawley Creek, had purchased products containing Sudafed.
Upon arrival, officers report they found an open trash bag in the driveway near the rear of the residence.
Inside the bag, officers report they found items commonly used in the production of methamphetamine.
Also located at the rear of the residence was a common area used by Butcher and a witness.
The witness reportedly informed police they had only been at the residence for a short time but they suspected Butcher would use the common area, where the washer and dryer were located, to produce methamphetamine.
The witness allegedly led law enforcement to the common area where officers were able to observe several known precursors used in the production of methamphetamine.
At that time, officers report they removed the witness from the area for safety and contacted a West Virginia State Police trooper who is certified as a clandestine laboratory technician.
Upon their arrival, officers were reportedly able to locate and take samples from several items commonly used in meth production.
Officers report they were able to make contact with Butcher, and, after he signed a form acknowledging his Miranda rights, Butcher reportedly admitted the items found by law enforcement were used in the production of methamphetamine.
Butcher also reportedly admitted he operated the clandestine laboratory while the witness’ children were at the residence.
Butcher is charged with operating a clandestine drug lab and four counts of child neglect resulting in injury.
Butcher’s bail was set to $15,000.
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Criminal complaints are public information and any charges contained therein are merely accusations. Anyone accused of a crime should be considered innocent until they are proven guilty.
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1729 or by email at [email protected]