GALLIPOLIS — A Gallia County man charged with purchasing items with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine was recently arraigned in the Common Pleas Court of Gallia County.
Ronald M. Schaefer, 33, Crown City, pleaded not guilty to the illegal assembly or possession of chemicals to manufacture methamphetamine, a third degree felony, during a hearing last week.
The original complaint filed with the Gallipolis Municipal Court by a Gallipolis Police Officer states that the defendant, who had previously received written warning not to be in the Gallipolis Walmart, was monitored and observed by the store’s loss prevention officers on January 27 purchasing items commonly used to manufacture meth.
The defendant reportedly purchased pseudoephedrine from the pharmacy at Walmart, and then selected a package of iodized salt before purchasing the salt at the self check-out. The defendant then reportedly selected a bottle of pop from the cooler and left the store without paying for it.
The complaint further states that the officer followed the suspect’s vehicle out of the Walmart parking area and initiated a traffic stop.
While on the stop, the officer reportedly observed a hypodermic needle jammed between the seat lever and the the seat where the defendant was seated.
Schaefer, who had a warrant out for his arrest, was asked to exit the vehicle.
A grocery bag containing a box of pseudoephedrine was observed in the vehicle, and a lithium battery, along with a second box of pseudoephedrine, was found in the defendant’s pockets.
The iodized salt was also located inside the vehicle where the defendant was seated.
Schaefer was arrested and later appeared in the Gallipolis Municipal Court and was charged with criminal trespassing, theft and the illegal possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs in relation to this case.
His bond was set at $300,000, 10 percent, and following a preliminary hearing on January 4, the charge of illegal possession of chemicals was bound over to the common pleas court where it was heard by a grand jury and an indictment was handed down.
The defendant is scheduled to appear in the municipal court for a court pre-trial on March 7 in relation to the charges of theft and criminal trespassing.
During last week’s hearing in the common pleas court, the defendant’s bond in this case was set at $15,000 own recognizance with an additional $1,500, 10 percent bond.
A plea agreement may be filed in this case by May 3 and a jury trial has been scheduled for May 23.
Schaefer is currently being held in the Gallia County Jail.