County drug agents hit another house in Salem | Information, Sports activities, Jobs
SALEM – Columbiana County’s Drug Task Force agents dismantled a meth lab on Newgarden Avenue Friday after executing another search warrant in Salem within more than 24 hours.
Just like the day before the raid on Jennings Avenue, a resident ended up in jail. Items confiscated included a loaded gun, cash, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia.
The difference this time around, however, was the presence of a dangerous homemade meth lab with six empty Coleman fuel tanks and 15 stew meth cooks, with many of the cooking pots old and dry.
“80 percent of what had to do with it had failed. This is a major fire hazard. I am surprised that this house is still standing. “ County DTF Director Sgt. Brett Grabman said.
Grabman had to wear protective clothing to neutralize the chemicals in the pots and keep the neighborhood safe as Salem firefighters were on hand with a hose in the event of a lightning fire or explosion. Cooking meth by mixing different chemicals in one container, e.g. A water bottle or two liter pop bottle, and fermentation can create a volatile fire hazard.
DTF agents, accompanied by Salem police and the sheriff’s office, arrived that morning to carry out a search warrant for drug trafficking on suspicion of off-home methamphetamine sales.
Michael Troy Boggs, 50, has been charged with a number of illicit compositions of chemicals or the manufacture of drugs and has been jailed. He lives at home with his mother, Bonita Welling, who owns the property. No charges were brought against them.
The house has now been classified as locked by the city housing administration until it is properly carried by a professional company dealing with secret drug lab cleanups under city ordinance, with the cost to be borne by the homeowner.
Grabman noted that this was the third search warrant carried out this week that resulted in the seizure of a loaded weapon, this time a 9mm pistol.
He said they were surprised by the one-pot meth labs as the trend is to buy meth off the street. None of the meth cooks were active, but they still needed to be neutralized. In addition to utensils, including syringes, there was other evidence of human trafficking. He said further investigation could result in further charges.
Grabman thanked the Salem Fire Department and said he couldn’t have done what he would have done without them. He also thanked the Salem police and the sheriff’s office. The DTF includes officers from the police authorities of Salem, Lisbon and St. Clair Township as well as the Sheriff’s Office.
“We love the participation of any agency that wants to participate” he said.
The participating agencies pay the salaries and benefits of their participating civil servants, but the district commissioners have helped supplement these costs with grants. The city of Salem recently accepted their donation of US $ 20,000 to participate in the DTF.
He also stressed the importance of the public in reaching out to the DTF.
Salem Police Chief JT Panezott, who was originally the director of the DTF, has continued to fight drugs in the city during his tenure, including supporting the addition of two K-9 units in recent years. He supports the recent activities of the DTF in Salem.
“I think it is awesome. I think you can expect to see a lot more of this. “ he said.
The fire brigade had previously been on the property on December 11, 2019 because of a possible garage fire. A bag of clothes and other rubbish was found in flames near the garage against a privacy fence.
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