For Immediate Release: March 29, 2012
Contact: Lt. Michael Combs (330) 833-1055
Troopers seize mobile meth lab during a traffic stop in Stark County
HARTVILLE – Two suspects are facing felony drug charges after Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers seized chemicals used for the manufacturing of methamphetamine, following a traffic stop in Stark County.
Troopers stopped a 1999 Honda Accord with Ohio registration, for a red light violation on Market Avenue in the village of Hartville at approximately 5:16 p.m. on March 27. The vehicle quickly drove into a drive-way and the passenger fled on foot to the rear of the residence. The driver exited the vehicle, and was immediately apprehended. Troopers searched the rear of the residence and located the passenger hiding near some trees. The passenger was found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Upon further investigation, both occupants admitted that chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine were located in the vehicle.
A probable cause search of the vehicle revealed components to manufacture methamphetamine in the vehicle’s trunk. The Hartville Fire Department and Stark Metro Drug Task Force were called to the scene to assess the mobile lab. The hazardous material clean-up crew disassembled the fully equipped mobile lab.
The driver, Lonnie R. Morris, 29, of Akron, Ohio and Charles R. Copen III, 29, of Barberton, Ohio were charged with possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, a third-degree felony, and possession of a meth lab within the vicinity of a school, a first-degree felony.
Both suspects were incarcerated at the Stark County Jail. If convicted, both suspects could face up to 15 years in prison and up to a $30,000 fine.
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