Mercer Co. Deputies find outdoor meth lab, 1 arrested

8-24 Outdoor Meth Lab_186741

CELINA, Ohio (WDTN) – A report of a suspicious man led deputies to an outdoor meth lab last week.

Sheriff Jeff Grey said Wednesday dispatcher got a call from a man who said his children saw a suspicious man near Wabash Road and S.R. 219. This incident happened at 5:40 p.m. Tuesday.

A deputy went to the area and found a man matching the description given by the children who claimed to be fishing in the area.

After a search of the man’s bicycle deputies found liquid and containers in a pouch on the bike. The man admitted the liquid was methamphetamine and admitted to “cooking meth” somewhere in Indiana.

Sheriff Grey said after that discovery deputies searched the area under a nearby bridge and found more items commonly associated with an outdoor methamphetamine cooking operation. Deputies found suspected liquid methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, equipment and material commonly used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine, according to Grey.

James McDowell, 52 from Celina was arrested and is currently in the Mercer County Adult Detention Center for possession of drugs. The case has been sent to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

McDowell is currently being held in the Mercer County Adult Detention Facility for possession of drugs.   The case will be forwarded to the Prosecutor for review of additional charges.

Sheriff Grey encourages people to report suspicious activity and said this arrest and discovery of a methamphetamine cook operation was due to a citizen being observant.

Deputies were assisted with the cook operation cleanup by the Darke County Sheriff’s Office and the Grand Lake Drug Task Force. Grey also said methamphetamine cook operations are extremely dangerous because of the chemicals used in its manufacturing.

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