Two Pocahontas Residents Arrested In Connection With Suspected Meth Lab

Cass, WV – According to a press release from West Virginia State Police Sgt. Glen Galloway, on October 13th William J. Russell was arrested for manufacturing a clandestine drug lab and Kelley L. Cohenour was arrested for conspiracy. Both are residents of Cass.

Information had been received by the WVSP regarding a possible meth lab near Cass, and on October 13th a search warrant was obtained and executed. The precursors of a meth lab were located; Russell is accused of cooking the meth in plastic soda bottles. The press release says more charges will follow at the next term of the Pocahontas County Grand Jury.

A search on this method of making meth shows it’s also known as “shake and bake”, a deceptively simple method for producing a few hits of the highly addictive drug. All you need is a 2 liter soda bottle, a few cold pills, and a few common, but noxious chemicals. But the method is also extremely volatile and can literally blow up in your face if not done right.

Until a few years ago, meth labs were considerably more complicated, requiring hundreds of cold pills and chemicals, and cooking the witches brew over open flames that produced foul odors that were hard to conceal. Now the drug can be produced with a small amount of cold pills, thus avoiding new regulations that monitor the purchase of certain cold medications. If the bottle has any oxygen in it or even unscrewing the bottle cap too fast can lead to a huge fireball explosion and severe burns.

After the chemical process is finished, what’s left is a crystalline powder that users can smoke, snort or inject. A toxic white and brown chemical sludge remains in the bottle that is typically just thrown out by the manufacturer, sometimes winding up along the side of rural roads.

Another problem in some states is that they may not have a central database for monitoring cold medicine sales. This means potential manufacturers could go to different locations in the state and purchase the supplies they need without triggering notification to authorities. At press time, the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy could not verify whether or not such a database exists in the state.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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