Last updated: March 11. 2014 5:55PM - 1482 Views
Amber Gillenwater agillenwater@civitasmedia.com

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GALLIPOLIS — A Gallia County man accused of manufacturing methamphetamine last April was sentenced in GHallia County Common Pleas Couort to three years in prison.

Matthew S. White, 25, of Gallipolis, was sentenced during a hearing before Common Pleas Judge D. Dean Evans on Monday after he pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony charge of the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine.

Following Monday’s hearing, Assistant Gallia County Prosecutor Britt Wiseman — who represented the state of Ohio in this case — commented on what many would call a methamphetamine epidemic in the area.

“Any time we can clean up an active meth lab in our community, it is a good day for residents of Gallia County,” he said. “Individuals who make the decision to cook methamphetamine are putting themselves, their children and their neighbors at risk for serious health complications. We remain determined to shut down these drug operations and to hold people responsible for producing this poison that is being disseminated throughout our county.”

In a previous common pleas case, White was charged with one count of burglary after he allegedly broke into a residence on July 13, 2011 — a charge as outlined in an indictment filed on Sept. 23, 2011.

The defendant, who was not arrested until January 2012, was later released from the court on Jan. 13, 2012, on an own-recognizance bond.

A subsequent entry filed on April 23, 2012, by Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins dismisses this case, and a new indictment outlining the same charge of second-degree felony burglary was later filed with the clerk of courts’ office on May 24, 2012.

A summons to appear in this case was filed and White was ordered to appear June 4 for an arraignment hearing. But following the June 4 hearing, after which the defendant was released on an own-recognizance bond, the state once again filed a “nolle prosequi” as the “victim no longer wishes to pursue this matter.”

White was assessed the costs of this case.

Following the dismissal of his previous two felony cases, White was again arrested on April 3, 2013, after officers with the Gallipolis Police Department located one active meth lab at a residence located at 735 1/2 Third Ave.

Reportedly, city police officers were acting on a tip that an active meth lab could be located within the city limits, and, after discovering the lab, a meth lab technician with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office, along with members of the Gallipolis Fire Department and Gallia County EMS arrived on scene to neutralize the lab.

Following his arrest, an indictment was handed down against White on April 10, 2013. He subsequently appeared for an arraignment on April 15 and was later released on an own-recognizance bond.

After failing to appear for a hearing in June, White failed to appear again at a rescheduled status conference on Oct. 1. He was arrested on a warrant on Feb. 20.

During a hearing last month, his bond was revoked and set at $50,000, 10 percent, and a plea and sentencing hearing was later set in this case.

On March 10, White pleaded guilty to the charge against him and, as per the plea agreement, was sentenced to three years in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. He was further ordered to pay a $7,500 fine. His driver’s license was suspended for six months and he was credited for 55 days already served.

He was remanded to the custody of the sheriff’s office and will later be transported to the appropriate prison facility.

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