Leon couple sentenced after drug arrests

Beth Sergent - bsergent@civitasmedia.com

POINT PLEASANT — Two people arrested by Mason County sheriff’s deputies last March who were accused of attempting to operate a meth lab and child neglect creating risk of injury have entered into plea agreements in Mason County Circuit Court and been sentenced.

Rodney J. Rogers, 36, and Rhonda J. Rogers, 39, both of Leon, were indicted by the May 2015 term of the grand jury for operate or attempt to operate a clandestine drug laboratory, exposure of children to methamphetamine manufacturing, child neglect creating risk of injury and conspiracy.

Late last year, Rhonda and Rodney entered separate pleas of guilty to the felony charge of conspiracy. In light of the pleas, the state moved to dismiss the other charges.

The pair recently reappeared before Judge Thomas C. Evans III in circuit court for sentencing, with Rhonda appearing on Feb. 8 and Rodney on Feb. 22. According to a sentencing order filed in the office of Mason County Circuit Court Clerk Bill Withers, Judge Evans sentenced Rhonda to the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years on her conviction for the felony offense of conspiracy. However, this sentence was suspended and Rhonda was placed on home confinement.

According to a commitment order filed in Withers’ office this week, Judge Evans sentenced Rodney to jail for not less than one nor more than five years in the West Virginia Department of Corrections, upon his conviction of the felony offense of conspiracy. His conviction date is Nov. 16, 2015; sentence date, Feb. 22, 2016; effective sentence date, Feb. 11, 2016. He was also assessed $277 in court costs. As of Tuesday afternoon, Rodney was being housed at the Western Regional Jail as an inmate for the department of corrections.

According to the official criminal complaint filed in Mason County Magistrate Court in March 2015, the Mason County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant at a residence located at 1040 Matheny Drive, Leon. The complaint identified this as the couple’s residence, as well as the residence of their three minor children who were, at the time of the couple’s arrests, ages 3, 14 and 15.

During the search, an alleged meth lab was discovered in the bathroom adjacent to the master bedroom, according to the complaint. The complaint states, after questioning the couple, information was obtained indicating the lab was allegedly used inside the home to cook methamphetamine on multiple occasions in the three months prior to the arrests. The complaint identified Rodney as “the cook” and Rhonda allegedly having knowledge of the activity. This activity in the home caused a substantial risk of injury to the children, according to the complaint.

The state was represented by Prosecuting Attorney R. Craig Tatterson; Rhonda by Attorney Tanya Handley; Rodney by Attorney Damon Morgan, Jr.

Beth Sergent


Reach Beth Sergent at bsergent@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.

Reach Beth Sergent at bsergent@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.