Meth lab busts total 90 in Portage in 2013

by DAVE O'BRIEN RECORD-COURIER REPORTER Published:

Women from Portage and Stark counties have been charged with felonies for allegedly making methamphetamine in the presence of a 1-year-old child.

The Oct. 16 raid by the Portage County Drug Task Force and sheriff's deputies brings to 90 the number of illegal methamphetamine labs found in the county in 2013, according to the Portage County Sheriff's Department.

Arrested in connection with the raid on Prospect Street in Atwater were Nanette Williams, 44, of that address, and Kristien M. Tarleton, 19, with a last known address in Hartville.

Tarleton is charged with child endangering, a third-degree felony. Williams is charged with illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs in the vicinity of a juvenile, a second-degree felony.

Both are being held in the Portage County Jail on 10 percent of $50,000 bond each, according to court records. Additional charges are possible once the case is presented to a Portage County grand jury.

Portage County Sheriff David Doak said deputies received a call asking them to check on the welfare of a child residing at Williams' address, with the allegation drugs were being manufactured there.

After first making contact with the residents, drug task force agents and deputies served a court-ordered search warrant and recovered chemicals typically used to manufacture methamphetamine. Finished meth also was recovered, he said.

Child welfare officials removed Tarleton's son from the residence, according to Doak. Tarleton also has an open case in Summit County Common Pleas Court for illegal manufacturing of drugs, he said.

In another case that broke the previous week, drug task force agents located several "one pot" or "shake and bake" meth labs abandoned in a wooded area behind an apartment complex in the 1700 block of East Main Street in Franklin Township on Oct. 10 after being told that several suspects had been "cooking" meth there.

The waste chemicals from meth production are toxic, potentially explosive and can cause serious bodily harm, including severe burns if handled incorrectly.

The Portage County Drug Task Force is comprised of officers from the Aurora, Garrettsville, Hiram, Kent, Ravenna and Streetsboro police departments, the Portage County Sheriff's Department, DEA and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Suspected illegal drug activity may be reported by calling 330-296-8626 or sending an email to pdtaskforce@sbcglobal.net.

Email: dobrien@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4157

Facebook: Dave O'Brien, Record-CourierSFlbTwitter: @RCCrimeWatch

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