Local law enforcement officers have been making several arrests lately in relation to meth labs, and last week added four more arrests to the list.
On Oct. 23, West Virginia State Police responded to a hit and run crash with injuries on US 119 near Chapmanville. Upon arrival, officers observed a demolished 1999 Pontiac Grand Am which was bearing a license plate belonging to a 1998 Chevrolet S-10. Another vehicle, a 2006 Volvo commercial truck belonging to Peerless Block and Brick, was sitting in the emergency lane. Officers were informed that the person driving the Grand Am had fled into the woods to avoid arrest, leaving his injured passenger.
According to the complaint, officers ordered the driver, identified as Steven Lee Sansom, 21, of Chapmanville, to come from out of the woods where he was hiding. After he was detained, Sansom allegedly stated that he was racing a F-150 truck southbound and attempted to overtake the truck before changing lanes. Sansom reportedly lost control of the vehicle and struck the left rear tire and wheel of the Volvo truck. The vehicle then went into a spin during which the passenger, identified as Amos Scott Holland, 18, also of Chapmanville, received a severe laceration above his eye that demanded immediate medical attention. Instead of rendering aid to Holland, Sansom retrieved three duffel bags containing precursors to a clandestine drug laboratory and fled on foot. Sansom and Holland both were allegedly on their way to Walmart to purchase other clandestine drug laboratory precursors.
Sansom was charged with operate or attempt clandestine drug lab, conspiracy to commit a felony, improper registration, no insurance, fleeing on foot, failure to render aid, hit and run with injury, drag racing, reckless driving and destruction of property. His bail was set at $100 000.
Holland was charged with operate or attempt clandestine drug lab and conspiracy. His bail was set at $20,000.
On Oct. 26, an anonymous tip led West Virginia State Police to the area of Sarah Ann where they discovered a meth lab in a home where children were living.
According to the complaint, officers went to the residence of Gary and Lisa Martin and asked the couple about the drug complaint, to which the couple denied. As the officers were speaking to the couple, they could detect a chemical smell coming from the residence and observed what appeared to be clandestine labs lying in a burn pile by the couple’s residence. They also observed several children inside the residence.
Whe officers went inside to check on the children, they found a leafy green substance to which Lisa allegedly advised officers that it was hers. As officers were speaking with Lisa, Gary reportedly came in and threw the marijuana onto the floor in an attempt to conceal it from the officer.
The WVSP Meth Lab specialist was called in to remove the clandestine lab.
Gary Martin, 39, was charged with operating a clandestine lab, possession of Sudafed in an altered state, conspiracy, obstructing and simple possession (marijuana). His bail was put on hold since he was already out on bond for possession with intent to deliver.
Lisa Martin, 39, was charged with operating a clandestine lab, possession of Sudafed in an altered state, conspiracy and simple possession (marijuana). Her bail was set at $100,000.
There was no mention in the criminal complaint on who took guardianship of the children in the home following the arrests of their parents.
Criminal complaints are public information. Charges listed in an indictment are merely accusations; defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.