Drug lab suspects remain behind bars

PARKERSBURG – People arrested last week on charges relating to operating an alleged clandestine drug lab near Gihon Road remain in jail following their initial appearance in Wood County Magistrate Court.

Last Thursday before midnight, investigators with the Parkersburg Police Department, Wood County Sheriff’s Office, Parkersburg Narcotics Task Force and the West Virginia State Police arrested five people on methamphetamine manufacturing charges at 49 Lantana Lane off Gihon Road in Parkersburg as part of the continuing investigation into the manufacturing and distribution of bath salts and methamphetamine.

Arrested were Ronald B. McMillan, 59, and Crystal Ann Campbell, 33, both of 49 Lantana Lane; David K. Riel, 43, 1214 Camden Ave., Parkersburg; Amber Brooke Husk, 50 1/2 Main St., Harrisville, and John Allen Estep, 27, 2608 Avery St., Apt. 23, Parkersburg.

Over the weekend, each person was arraigned in Wood County Magistrate Court.

McMillian was released on $10,000 bond on a charge of providing a dwelling to manufacture a controlled substance.

Campbell was held on $100,000 bond for a charge of manufacturing a controlled substance.

Estep was held on $100,000 bond for a charge of operating a clandestine drug lab.

Husk was held on $100,000 bond for a charge of manufacturing a controlled substance.

Riel was held on $150,000 bond for a charge of operating/attempting to operate a clandestine drug lab.

According to court records, officers traveled to 49 Lantana Lane last Thursday to conduct a “knock and talk” at the residence. The address was known to officials as a suspected residence that was allegedly manufacturing methamphetamine; an ongoing investigation was being conducted by officers.

Upon their arrival, officers detected a strong odor of chemicals emitting from the residence, similar to an active methamphetamine lab, court records said.

Officers repeatedly knocked on the door until, a short time later, McMillan opened the door. McMillian was identified as the owner of the residence. When told of the odor and suspicions the site was being used to manufacture drugs, he invited officers in and consented to them searching the home, records said.

Officers encountered Campbell and Husk and later came across Riel in the home. All were moved to the front of the trailer for officer safety.

Officers noticed Riel attempting to close a toolbox. Officers opened the toolbox and found items used to manufacture methamphetamine. Other materials used in manufacturing methamphetamine were in the kitchen/living room area, officials said.

Officers discovered an active “shake and bake” one pot method meth lab.

The suspects were taken outside and the trailer was secured while a search warrant was obtained.

After the warrant was executed, two additional “shake and bake” one pot method meth labs were located inside the kitchen freezer along with components used in the manufacture of methamphetamine and drug-smoking devices, records said.

While officers were waiting for the search warrant, Estep rode up on a bike and tried to enter the trailer when he was stopped by officers. He was found to have hypodermic needles and a half full 32-ounce bottle of Coleman fuel on him.

He told officers the needles were for a sister in Ritchie County and the fuel was for a lantern to take his kids fishing, records stated.

Officers noted the discovered labs appeared to be low on fuel. Estep was found to have made numerous purchases of sinus pills.

Upon questioning, Riel allegedly admitted the “shake and bake” drug lab was his, records stated.