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Meth lab discovered during search


Trish Bennett, Editor

Firefighters neutralize suspected methamphetamine discovered on Pearl Avenue on Friday. (Photos by Trish Bennett)

CIRCLEVILLE – Law enforcement officials executing a search warrant Friday on Pearl Avenue discovered an unexpected methamphetamine lab during the search.

The one-pot labs, contained in soda bottles, were neutralized by firefighters at the scene and taken into evidence, according to Sheriff Robert Radcliff, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office.

The Pearl Avenue home was one of three locations where officers executed search warrants simultaneously on Friday as part of an ongoing investigation, Radcliff said. The other two locations included a home on North Court Street outside the city limits and another on Hough Road in Chillicothe.

Radcliff said the three search warrants are sealed by the court, so he was unable to provide specific information about Friday’s actions or the investigation.

He did confirm, however, that the warrants were drug-related, and various items were seized at each location. No arrests have been made at this time, he said.

Friday’s operation was a joint effort between the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, the Circleville Police Department, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the Ross County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).

The Pickaway County special response team (SRT) responded at the North Court Street address, Radcliff said. The Franklin County SWAT team assisted on Pearl Avenue, and the Ross County SRT assisted at the Hough Road address.

Though details of the operation currently remain sealed, Radcliff said Friday’s effort was a successful example of law enforcement agencies working together toward a common goal.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following press release was issued about 2 p.m. Saturday by the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office providing a few additional details on this operation:

According to The Pickaway County Sheriff Robert B. Radcliff, three search warrants were executed on Friday, March 18, 2016.

Two search warrants in Pickaway County and one search warrant in Ross County were conducted.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office and Ross County Sheriff’s SWAT teams were used in the warrants.

During the search warrants, vehicles, cash, guns, stolen heavy equipment, two meth labs, heroin, crack cocaine and marijuana were all seized.

No arrests were made at the time of the search warrants.

The investigation continues. No further information is available at this time due to the warrants being sealed by the respective courts.

The search warrants were a step in the continuing effort in the fight against drugs. It was a complete team effort by all who were involved and continues to be involved BCI, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, Circleville Police Department, and the US 23 Major Crimes Task Force.

This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal