On Thursday, Mason County Sheriff’s Department Deputies Rob Wilson and Terry Powell found a meth lab located in the Jerry’s Run Road/Millstone Road area. Upon investigation, deputies charged Johnny Lee Patterson, 24, with the operation of a clandestine lab.
He also was charged with three counts of domestic assault, brandishing a deadly weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Patterson was then taken to the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville and is being held with a $510,000 bond. He is currently on misdemeanor pre-trial status.
Patterson had just been recently released from prison, where he served a five-year sentence for an aggravated robbery charge that took place in Wirt County. The robbery charged spanned from an incident where Patterson tied up an elderly gentleman, assaulted him and then stole his property.
According to the sheriff’s department, Patterson’s meth lab operated under a fairly new method called “shake and bake.” The shake and bake method was originally popular on the west coast but has since made its way to the east. Wilson described the shake and bake operation as a “much quicker method of making small batches of methamphetamine.” However, he emphasized that the method was still quite dangerous.
Mason County Sheriff David Anthony encouraged those who suspect any suspicious activities, including the possible operation of meth labs, to contact the sheriff’s department immediately by calling 304-675-3838. All reported tips and information are kept confidential — those who call to report and incident do not even have to give their name.