POINT PLEASANT — A Point Pleasant man has been arrested and charged with attempting to operate a meth lab.
Joseph T. Hart, 31, has been charged with operating or attempting to operate a clandestine lab. He appeared before Magistrate Cheryl Miller Ross who set his bond at $100,000. He remains housed at the Western Regional Jail.
On Friday, troopers with the West Virginia State Police and officers with the Point Pleasant Police Department responded to a residence at 603 1st Street in reference to an open burn in the back yard.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Mason County Magistrate Court, an officer wrote that alleged meth cooks sometimes attempt to hide the cook by destroying the evidence via burning it. Upon arrival, officers knocked on the door near the burn pile with Hart answering. The complaint says Hart then pushed the door into an officer, almost causing that officer to fall, in an attempt to allegedly flee.
While attempting to place Hart in custody, the criminal complaint says an officer reported observing several items consistent with the making of methamphetamine. The officer reported observing lithium batteries, plastic tubing, Coleman fuel, one pot heater, clear plastic baggies and a clear plastic plate with white, flaky residue in the bottom of it.
Hart was eventually placed in wrist restraints and taken to the Point Pleasant Police Department for processing.
Upon serving a search warrant of the residence, officers located the aforementioned items already observed and then located a box of 12-hour decongestant, an empty bottle of drain opener, a half full bottle of drain opener, ingredients from inside a cold pack and a white flaky substance believed to be the finished product of methamphetamine, according to the complaint.
If convicted, Hart could face jail time for not less than two years nor more than 10 years, or fined not less than $5,000 nor more than $25,000, or both.
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.