Police arrest four in meth lab bust

Local - 4/15/2013 6:30 PM by Karen Franklin

RAINELLE - Four people were arrested following a meth lab bust in Rainelle Sunday night.

Owen Adkins, 30, Matthew Bennett, 30, Jessica Cooper, 28, and James Malcomb, 39, are facing charges including operation of a clandestine lab, conspiracy to operate a clandestine lab and possession of methamphetamines, according to West Virgina State Police.

"The process itself is pretty easy to do, but it's more complex after chemicals start mixing," Sgt. Andy Evans told WOAY. "It's very dangerous. I mean, it's very toxic."

Two children inside of the trailer are in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Resources. Although police did not confirm the identity of the parents, records show Cooper and Malcomb also face charges of exposing a child to meth.

"It seems that they have no other care but for themselves and their habit -- including their own children," Evans said.

But residents said they didn't see any signs of neglect, and that the trailer residents are nice people. Neighbors only noticed consistent visitors to the home.

"Everybody knew it," said Mike Boggs. "I mean, there was so many cars coming in and out of that trailer in a day's time. Why, it looked like (Interstate) 64 going over there."

Rainelle authorities said they've seen half a dozen meth lab busts in the last six months and believe meth is taking the place of prescription drugs.

Some blame the economy.

"There's no jobs now, you know, which makes it bad" said neighbor Lee Partain. "People are out for the buck. Everybody is. It's greed."

"Now a days -- these kids -- it doesn't surprise me a bit," Boggs told WOAY. "Used to be you never heard of nothing like that in this area. I mean, little, quiet neighborhood. But nowadays, it's everywhere."

State Police are investigating the incident.


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