PARKERSBURG - An Athens County man is being sought by authorities following an investigation into a suspected meth lab Sunday in Parkersburg.
Trooper First Class C.S. Jackson, with the Parkersburg Detachment of the West Virginia State Police, said he will be obtaining an arrest warrant for Brown W. "John" Salyers II, 46, of Coolville, on a charge of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug laboratory following Sunday's investigation.
Additional charges may be pending based on the investigation, Jackson said. In addition, criminal charges may be filed against Michele S. Salyers, 39, also of Coolville, upon completion of the investigation, he said.
Jackson reported he responded to the 12th Street Flood Wall in Parkersburg on Sunday to assist officers with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources in an investigation of a suspicious person and potential wanted subject near the flood wall.
Upon arrival, officers spoke to Michele Salyers who was believed to be with her husband, Brown "John" Salyers, when officers arrived, but he fled the area. During a conversation with her, Jackson said she showed signs of being under the influence of a controlled substance, believed to be meth.
Upon further investigation, officers discovered suspected precursor items inside her purse used for manufacturing methamphetamine, he said.
Jackson said officers then traveled to a known camping area located near that location along the Ohio River and a short time later an active "shake and bake" meth drug lab was located a short distance from the lone camp in the woods, along with numerous precursor items used in the manufacturing process of meth.
Officers also discovered receipts from Rite Aid indicating the recent purchases of precursor items by Brown "John" Salyers in Belpre. Jackson said he was also aware both Salyers are potential suspects in a recent meth drug lab investigation by the Athens County Sheriff's Office.
Witnesses provided statements indicating Salyers was in the woods for a period of time and that he seemed suspicious and acting paranoid. Officers were unable to located him Sunday, Jackson said.
The agencies involved included the West Virginia State Police, WVDNR and the Wood County Sheriff's Office.
In addition, Jackson said officers discovered one of the witnesses, Kenneth Fluharty, had a capias warrant from Wood County Magistrate Court for failure to appear. Fluharty was arrested and transported to the Wood County Holding Center pending arraignment in magistrate court.