Small Town News


Five arrested in meth lab bust

The Perkins Journal of Perkins, Oklahoma

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Five people were arrested on a rash of drug-related charges last week following a routine call to a local residence.

Ginger Mercer, Kindra Whitmore, Julia Davis, Derek Davis, and John Scott Tuesday evening, Sept. 7, were booked into Payne County Jail on charges of trafficking of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled, dangerous substance (CDS) without tax stamp, manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, possession of precursors (used in making of illegal narcotics), and possession of scanner in the commission of a felony. The five were also charged with child endangerment, cruelty to animals, and for running an illegal tattoo parlor.

Perkins Police Officer Gene Morris said he, Officer Robby Lester, and Iowa Tribal Police Officer Thomas Harders went to 204 NE Fifth to do a welfare check on the residents there following a tip.

"Upon walking to the front door of the! residence, I smelled a strong chemical odor commonly associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine, "Morris said. "I notified the other officers and asked all persons inside the residence to come outside." According to Morris' report, five adults and four children ranging in age from three to 12 had been inside the residence, along with three dogs. After the people were detained outside, the property was secured for the arrival of Payne County Deputy Greg Russell, who is trained in the detection and proper handling Of hazardous materials commonly found in meth labs.

Morris said Russell confirmed his suspicion that the odor was consistent with odors commonly associated

with the manufacture of methamphetamine. The officer then obtained a warrant to search the residence.

Russell and Deputy Dan Nack conducted the first search of the premises, identifying and removing a large quantity of chemicals and other items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Seized were items that are commonly used in the manufacture of meth, including Coleman fuel, salt, sulfuric acid drain cleaners, starter fluid, hydrogen peroxide, pseudoephedrine, lithium batteries, and muriatic acid.

Officers also confiscated a large quantity of plastic and glass containers, bottles, coffee filters, plastic bags funnels, hair dryers, tools and other utensils, most of which either contained a white powdery substance or a white powdery residue the officers suspected to be methamphetamine.

In addition to these items, officers found numerous 20 oz. and one - and two-liter drink bottles that contained "shake and bake."

"Shake and bake" is the street name for small mini-meth factories, according to Chief Williams.

"It's simply chemicals mixed in a bottle, "Williams said. "They're very portable, very dangerous, and apt to explode due to both pressure as they are mixed and from the chemical reaction involved."

"It was probably the biggest [lab] I've seen in this area, "noted Williams, who is a former member of the district drug task force.

Morris said, "A total of 14 meth labs were discovered exceeding 20 grams of methamphetamine."

After the deputies removed the hazardous materials from the house, Morris and Lester, along with Officers Cody Coleman of the Iowa Tribe, and Perkins Officer Mike Randall, conducted a more detailed search of the premises.

The officers found paperwork and clothing that proved residence for Mercer, Whitmore, and Derek Davis.

Mercer and Whitmore also allegedly told officers a man identified as Richard Ryan Gualco was currently living in a building located on the property. Officers requested a warrant for Gualco's arrest.

Officers also identified and seized tattooing equipment in the residence, and a police scanner, which was taken into evidence.

According to Morris' report, while Deputy Nack was standing near John Scott, he noticed Scott reaching into his pocket. When the deputy investigated, he discovered a small plastic tube containing a residue that field tested positive for methamphetamine.

Julia Davis was also found to have a small plastic bag and a hollow plastic tube in her possession that contained residue that also tested positive for methamphetamine.

Morris said several items are being sent to Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for additional testing and confirmation.

The officer's report included a four-page list of items seized during the search of the property.

The five adults, Ginger Denise Mercer, Kindra Calynn Whitmore, Julia I. Davis, Derek Allen Davis, and John Scott, were arrested and taken to Payne County Jail for booking. Mercer, Scott, and Julia Davis were held on $50, 000 bond; Derek Davis was held on $100, 000 bond due to prior meth-related charges.

Mercer, Julia Davis, Derek Davis, and John Scott were charged Monday in Payne County District Court with attempting to manufacture methamphetamine.

All four children were placed in DHS custody.

"Living conditions in the house were extremely unsanitary, there was no running water and there were dog feces in one of the children's room, "Morris said. He said the chemical vapors were heavy even after the hazardous materials were removed and the house was ventilated Perkins Animal Control took custody of the dogs.

Morris also said, due to health conditions, the residence was reported to code enforcement to start the condemnation process.

Copyright 2010 The Perkins Journal, Perkins, Oklahoma. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

© 2011 The Perkins Journal Perkins, Oklahoma. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from DAS.

Original Publication Date: September 16, 2010

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