Four facing charges from meth bust

PARKERSBURG – Four people were arrested Monday on drug charges after an off-duty deputy was informed of suspicious activity taking place at the southside Wal-Mart in Parkersburg.

Around noon on Monday three Parkersburg residents were arrested after employees with Wal-Mart, 2900 Pike St., Parkersburg, noticed suspicious activity in the store by the group of individuals, officials said.

The suspicious behavior led employees to believe the three people were attempting to purchase or steal items associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine, officials said.

At that time, employees noticed an off-duty Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputy in the store and notified him of the behavior.

Agents with the Parkersburg Narcotics Task Force arrived at Wal-Mart to locate Kenneth Steven Butler, 27, 1312 15th St., Parkersburg, David Allen Lipscomb, 28, and Cathy Mae Birt, 32, both of 2020 16th St., Parkersburg.

Upon discovering the three people at Wal-Mart, agents executed a search warrant at 2020 16th St., Parkersburg, where an additional arrest was made.

Police arrested Gregory Scott Edwards, 24, 2101 43rd St., Parkersburg, after locating him inside the residence.

The investigation into the residence led task force agents to discover items including reaction vessels, cut lithium batteries, solvents, instant cold packs, pseudophedrine packaging, coffee filters, scales, tubing, drain cleaners and suspected meth, officials said.

Two canines were removed from the house by the Humane Society of Parkersburg.

All four individuals were arrested and charged with operating or attempting to operate a clandestine methamphetamine lab, a felony. They were transported by the Parkersburg Police Department to the Wood County Holding Center for arraignment.

All four were confined on a $100,000 bond and transported to the North Central Regional Jail after their arraignments in Wood County Magistrate Court Monday night.

If convicted, each faces not less than two and up to 10 years in prison.

The Vienna Police Department, Wood County Sheriff’s Office and West Virginia State Police assisted in the investigation.