RIO GRANDE — Charges are pending against a pair arrested on Tuesday by the Rio Grande Police Department after what was thought to be an active meth lab discovered in the village.
Paul Morris, 43, and Judy O’Dell, 26, were arrested on outstanding warrants Tuesday afternoon after ingredients used to produce methamphetamine were discovered in their vehicle located in the parking lot of McDonald’s at the intersection of U.S. 35 and Ohio 325.
According to a report filed with the Rio Grande Police Department, after receiving a call on an assault in progress involving a man in a black Chevrolet S-10 who appeared to be under the influence, an officer from the University of Rio Grande Campus Police Department was contacted to respond to the area on West Street in Rio Grande until an patrolman with the village police department could arrive on scene.
Upon his arrival, the vehicle reported by the caller was not on West Street, but was later located at McDonald’s. After making contact with the sole occupant of the vehicle, later identified as Morris, the campus police officer took Morris into investigative custody and patted him down prior to the arrival of additional units.
Soon thereafter, an officer with the Rio Grande Police Department arrived on scene and was able to located the female occupant of the vehicle, identified as O’Dell, in the restaurant.
After speaking with both parties, they reported that there had not been an assault, but that they pair had gotten into a verbal argument.
While talking to the suspects, an officer located a piece of paper on the ground near where Morris was standing. The paper reportedly contained a list of drug transactions, and after asking Morris if there were any drugs located in the vehicle, the suspect reported that he did not know. O’Dell reported that she was though that there might be meth located in the S-10, but she was not sure.
The Rio Grande Police Department’s canine unit subsequently alerted to the vehicle, and, after a search, a cooler was located in the bed of the truck. Inside the cooler, officers discovered what appeared to be an active meth lab.
After the discovery, the area was cleared and taped off while methamphetamine technicians with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office and Gallipolis Police Department were called to the scene to dismantle the lab. Gallia County EMS and the Rio Grande Volunteer Fire Department were also dispatched to assist the meth technicians.
It was later determined that the cooler did not contain an active meth lab, but contained the ingredients to make meth. The evidence was submitted to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation for testing and the case will be sent to the Gallia County Prosecutor’s Office for charges.
Both suspects were arrested on outstanding warrants and their vehicle was towed from the scene.
Following the investigation, officers with the responding agencies, including the Rio Grande Police Department, University of Rio Grande Campus Police, Gallipolis Police Department and the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office, were praised by Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning for their exceptional teamwork.
Further information on this case will be released as it is made available.